Impeached Kiambu Governor Ferdinard Waititu has said he will run as an independent candidate in Nairobi after the Registrar of Political Parties confirmed that he was not a registered member of any party.
In a letter signed by John Macharia, on behalf of the Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu, the registrar also said that Mr Waititu's symbol of choice -a high mast/floodlight- was not similar to a symbol of any fully registered political party.
“The above subject matter refers and your letter for clearance as an independent candidate dated 28th December, 2020 as a Governor of Nairobi City County,” a letter from the Registrar’s Office read in part.
“According to the records held by this office, Ferdinard Ndung’u Waititu, ID No. (redacted) is not a registered member of a fully registered political party as at 28th December, 2020.”
A separate letter said: “Reference is made to the above subject matter and our clearance letter dated 28th December, 2020. Your application was considered and the High Mast /Flood light symbol is recommended as it is not similar to the symbol of a fully registered political party. Kindly forward the symbol to the IEBC pursuant to section 32 and 33 of the Election Act, 2011.”
Seat fell vacant this month
The Nairobi seat fell vacant this month after the incumbent governor Mike Sonko was impeached by the county assembly and the decision upheld by the Senate over corruption charges.
But Mr Waititu, who was impeached as Kiambu governor in a similar manner and on similar charges in January this year, has another hurdle to surmount: the IEBC clearance.
He, however, remains optimistic that he will be cleared by the IEBC.
“I have been cleared by the Registrar of Political Parties to vie as an independent candidate as the next Governor of Nairobi. There is no election law that can (sic) bar me from contesting for the seat because I am only a suspect of an economic crime because no court has ever convicted me,” Mr Waititu told Nation.
IEBC had set December 28 as the deadline for independent candidates to submit their names and symbols that they intend to use in the by-election.
“Candidates intending to participate in Nairobi Gubernatorial by-election as an independent candidate shall submit their names and symbols that they intend to use during the by-election for purposes of nomination of independent candidates to IEBC on or before 28th December, 2020,” IEBC announced on Monday.
Mr Waititu was impeached by the Kiambu County Assembly on December 19, 2019, over claims of corruption and conflict of interest, a decision that was upheld by the Senate in January this year.