Senator sues IEBC, wants agency to punish politicians on early campaigns

Nyamira Senator Kennedy Okong’o Mong’are has moved to court seeking to have the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) compelled to punish politicians who have embarked on early campaigns set for 2017 and 2022 elections.

Mr Mong’are sued the IEBC claiming that its failure to discipline such parties and candidates is a clear violation of the electoral code of conduct and is contrary to the Elections offences Act.

Through lawyer Zachariah Mwambi, he argued that early campaigns would likely result to the rising of political temperature as well as disagreements between several leaders.

He also claimed that early campaigns cause economic stagnation and that the country stands to suffer irreparably.

“IEBC has failed in its mandate of ensuring that all political actors comply with electoral laws, it is just that this matter is heard on a priority basis so that grievances are remedied without delay,” Mr Mwambi said.

In the case documents, the Senator claimed that IEBC has violated the freedom of access to information regarding planning, investigating and disciplining electoral offenders.

“Being a member of the Senate, I am apprehensive that we are heading into the election period and some parties may be sidelined as others have already started early campaigns which is not compliant with the electoral code of conduct yet there is need for a level paying ground,” Mr Mong’are said.

He argued that the failure to discipline such parties and candidates is in bad faith and offends the law on competitiveness.

In his suit, he has listed some political leaders who have allegedly embarked on early campaigns.

The listed politicians include Former Prime minister Raila Odinga, former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Machakos governor Alfred Mutua, Senators Omar Hassan (Mombasa), Mike Sonko (Nairobi) and Dr Bonny Khalwale (Kakamega).

He also listed governors who have clashed with MPs on rallies such as Isaac Ruto and Joyce Laboso, Mwangi wa Iria and Jamleck Kamau, Lenny Kivuti and Cecil Mbarire, Peter Munya and Kiraitu Murungi, Hassan Joho and Hezron Awiti, Wycliffe Opranya and Benjamin Washiali.

Mr Mong’are wants the IEBC compelled to release a report on investigations conducted on parties and candidates who have violated electoral laws.

He also wants IEBC directed to follow the Elections Campaign Finance Act.

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