Kakamega governor candidate to sue IEBC for postponing election

Fernandes Barasa

Clerics pray for Kakamega governor candidate Fernandes Barasa at Bukhungu Stadium on July 18, 2022 

Photo credit: Isaac Wale | Nation Media Group

Kakamega governor candidate Fernandes Barasa is headed to court to compel the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to compensate him after the election of the top county seat was suspended.

Mr Barasa, who is contesting in an ODM ticket, accused the electoral agency of extreme negligence and blamed the procurement team at IEBC for failing to follow the procurement procedures.

 “A team of commissioners travelled to Greece to proof check the ballot papers and when they came back, IEBC chairperson Mr Chebukati assured Kenyans that everything was in order. I read mischief after IEBC suspended the election claiming there were errors on the ballots and cases of a mix up of details,” said Mr Barasa.

The former managing director of the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) said he had directed his lawyers sue the IEBC for costs.

He said he had incurred a lot of expenses campaigning for the August 9 polls and exhausted his accounts.

“I must sue IEBC for costs because preparing for the second time will be costly too. It will involve payment of agents and other logistics. We had already paid the agents and dispatched to various polling stations where they spent their time until the IEBC announced to have suspended the elections. The Commission must compensate me,” he added.

Mr Barasa further wants the IEBC to audit of the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (Kiems) to avoid cases where the gadgets end up failing to detect fingerprints of some voters or reported glitches during relaying of results in polling stations.

“IEBC should audit their Kiems kits and deploy the gadgets that are in good condition,” he said.

Mr Barasa’s Azimio coalition had earlier questioned the decision by IEBC to suspend the governor election in Kakamega and Mombasa County and described the move as suspicious.

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya claimed the errors on the ballot papers occurred in areas considered to be Raila Odinga’s strongholds.

“Anyone found culpable for the anomaly should be held liable in line with Section 6(J) of the Election Offenses Act,” said Mr Oparanya.

Kakamega and Mombasa are the two counties alongside Pokot South and Kacheliba constituencies affected by the decision by IEBC to suspend the election on Tuesday last week after errors were detected on the ballot papers including wrong pictures and details of the candidates.

The ballot papers in Kakamega County had listed candidates vying for the position in Kirinyaga County.

Seven candidates who include Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala are in the race to succeed Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.

 IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati confirmed that the ballot papers for gubernatorial positions in Kakamega and Mombasa had errors, which he attributed to a mix-up during printing process.

When a ballot paper bears a mismatch like in the four cases, Article 64A (1) of the Elections (General) (Amendment) Regulations, 2017 states that the Commission may, where a date has been appointed for holding an election, postpone the election in a constituency, county or ward for such a period as it may consider necessary.

The suspended election will be held on August 23.

In Busia County, Nambale MP John Bunyasi rejected the outcome of the governor seat claiming the exercise was marred by irregularities.

Mr Bunyasi contested the governor seat on ANC ticket and lost to former Funyula MP Dr Paul Otuoma of (ODM).

 Mr Bunyasi claimed that the election was marred with cases of violence, scaring away voters.

 “There were cases of chaos in some parts of Budalangi which caused low voter turnout and it’s an issue that should have been addressed by the relevant bodies,” said Mr Bunyasi.

Mr Bunyasi said he had raised the issues with County returning officer Mr Lazarus Chebii.


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