The electoral agency has cleared Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki to seek reelection in the August 9 polls on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party ticket.
His reelection bid faced a hurdle after the IEBC last week disqualified his preferred running mate, Mr Njue Njagi, from Maara constituency, because he had not resigned from his job by the February 9 deadline, forcing the governor to go back to the drawing board.
Mr Njuki picked Muthambi Ward Representative Wilson Nyaga, who lost in the UDA nominations.
Mr Nyaga is serving his second term as a member of the county assembly and had served as councillor before devolution.
Mr Njuki had to find a running mate after his deputy Nyamu Kagwima announced his bid to unseat him on a Wiper party ticket. Mr Kagwima has been cleared to run for the seat.
Mr Kagwima had said he could not seek reelection with his boss due to integrity issues.
The anti-corruption court has barred Mr Njuki from accessing his office in Kathwana until the matter is heard and determined.
Addressing the media in Kathwana after being cleared, Mr Njuki accused the ‘deep state’ of allegedly using the EACC to intimidate and try to block him from seeking a second term.
He said he found himself on the wrong side of the ‘deep state’ after decamping from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee party to Deputy President William Ruto’s UDA and supporting the latter’s presidential bid.
He also said his competitors had sought a court order to stop him from contesting and lauded the court and the IEBC for standing firm on the provisions of the law.
“I am now cleared to seek reelection; I have forgiven all those who laboured to ensure that I was not on the ballot. Let them face me on August 9,” Mr Njuki said.
He asked residents to shun fake stories circulated by his opponents that he said were aimed at ruining his reputation and concentrate on development.
He said he needs five more years to complete his development agenda.
He dismissed his opponents’ claims that he had neglected the county headquarters of Kathwana, noting that when he assumed office in 2017, the town was just a dusty market but he has grown it into a modern municipality.
“I challenge my opponents to embrace issue-based politics and keep off propaganda because people are keen on development and not empty rhetoric,” he said.
Mr Nyaga promised to help Mr Njuki win a second term and promised residents greater development.
Others cleared to run for governor were Prof Erastus Njoka (Jubilee), Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia (Narc Kenya) and Gitari Mbiuki (Chama cha Kazi).
Mr Ashford Kaugi, an independent aspirant, was yet to be cleared in the process that ends today.