Waluke, Sudi cleared to defend parliamentary seats

Sirisia MP John Waluke being handed a certificate of clearance by Sirisia Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Returning Officer Isaac Ruto on Tuesday at IEBC Sirisia office.

Photo credit: Brian Ojamaa | Nation Media Group

The electoral commission has cleared Sirisia MP John Waluke and Kapseret’s Oscar Sudi to defend their seats, despite damning court cases hanging over their heads.
Mr Sudi, whose academic qualifications are the subject of a court case, received his clearance certificate on Monday morning from the Kapseret Return Officer, Ms Mildred Wachiye.
She said Mr Sudi met the threshold – according to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission regulations – to defend his seat on a United Democratic Alliance party ticket.
“He was the first one to be cleared as he had all the required paperwork. We turned away the three independent candidates because they failed to meet the requirements. They presented less signatures whereas the minimum number is 1,000 voters,” she said.
He lost a bid to suspend his trial over allegations of forging academic certificates until after the August 9 polls after anti-corruption court Chief Magistrate Felix Kombo said the case has taken too long.
Mr Waluke, meanwhile, was sentenced to seven years in jail in 2020 over a Sh297 million maize scandal at the National Cereals and Produce Board. He was freed on bail by the High Court in September last year, alongside his co-accused, Ms Grace Wakhungu.
Justice John Onyiego granted him a Sh10 million cash bail or a Sh20 million bond and Ms Wakhungu on a Sh20 million cash bail or Sh30 million bond pending the hearing of their appeal.
News of Mr Waluke’s clearance was received with jubilation by Sirisia residents. He was cleared by Returning Officer Isaac Ruto on Tuesday.
“My competitors have been going round claiming that I won’t be on the ballot. Article 59 sub-section 3 of the constitution protects me as your lawmaker. I am now ready to face my opponents,” he told supporters.
Mr Waluke (Jubilee) will face ODM’s Moses Nandalwe, Ford-Kenya’s Nasiuma Kasembeli and ANC’s Robert Munoko. 
“IEBC has demonstrated that it is an independent body that cannot be manipulated. They started early campaigns thinking I will not be on ballot. I am ready to continue with the development projects I had initiated. I’ll be going for the Bungoma gubernatorial seat in 2027,” he offered.
The Sirisia MP urged Bungoma residents to vote overwhelmingly for Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga, saying he had sacrificed a lot for the country since independence.
“You all saw on Sunday how Baba was given a warm reception here in with a mammoth crowd and he promised a lot of development projects in our region. That is why I want you all to vote for him to get 99 per cent of votes from Western,” he said.
He said Mr Odinga had promised to revive to the collapsed Malakisi cotton ginnery in Sirisia and all the struggling sugar factories in Western region.