Fear of fallout as parties submit nomination lists to electoral body

Kisii Governor James Ongwae (left) and Mr Simba Arati

Kisii Governor James Ongwae (left) and Mr Simba Arati. The two have submitted two lists for ODM nominees to the Orange house.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Political parties submitted their lists for parliamentary and county assembly nomination slots by last night in a closely guarded exercise that has left a trail of claims of betrayal.

Top party officials Saturday declined to share the lists that have the potential of occasioning major falling-outs within the formations after some of the outfits reportedly omitted names of some of the members they had promised nomination slots.

Names provided by some of the party officials – but which we could not independently verify as the ones submitted to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) – show that senior officials of the outfits are the major beneficiaries.

At least two political parties have submitted names of some of the members of their election boards while another has submitted the name of its secretary-general. Another senior politician and party leader has also included his sister-in-law in the list.

IEBC had given political parties participating in the August 9 polls up to June 25 to submit party lists of the nominees to the National Assembly, Senate and County Assembly.

The party lists required names of 12 nominees to the National Assembly, 16 women nominees to the Senate, two youth nominees to the Senate and two persons with disability to be nominated to the Senate.

County assemblies

For county assemblies, the parties are required to submit 47 lists, each representing a county and separately consisting of eight marginalised group nominees to the county assembly.

Further, they should submit 47 lists, each representing a county and separately consisting of a number of nominees equal to the number wards in the respective county.

In western, controversy and protests have been witnessed as parties prepared the list for submission to the headquarters.

Some counties had two sets of lists submitted to the Orange house after the party officials failed to agree on the names to be included in the final list.

In Kisii, two lists for ODM nominees were submitted to the Orange house, one from the outgoing governor James Ongwae-led camp and the other from Simba Arati's team.

Verification

Kisii County ODM chairman Mr Kerosi Ondieki said the party headquarters returned the lists to them for verification purposes.

 "We formed a committee of 40 people and ensured that the nominees are members of the ODM party," said Mr Kerosi, noting that the new list is with the party headquarters for verification and submission.

 There were also claims that some of the nominees whose names were submitted are those who have previously served as nominated MCAs in the Kisii County Assembly.

In Homa Bay County, those seeking to be nominated to the county assembly after the August 9 election must be cleared by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

ODM officials in the county have been quoted in the past saying loyalty, fidelity and faithfulness to the party are paramount for one to be considered for nominations.

Party primaries losers

In Siaya County, there are fears that MCAs who lost in the party’s primaries could end up being nominated to the assembly.

One potential candidate who is a life member of the ODM said that he was shocked to find out that his name was missing from the final list of those picked for nominations.

“In 2017, my chance was given out to another person. I had hoped to be picked to represent people with disabilities but the chance was given to someone without disabilities,” said the ODM member.

 In Kakamega County, the nomination for ODM party members is already in the process.

County ODM chairman Mophat Mandela said the number of people to be nominated depends on the number of seats of members who will be elected.

Clear guideline

“We have a clear guideline on how to conduct the process from the party’s national leadership. We shall consider loyal members who have been fighting for the party over the years. The slots must be proportionate to those who are elected,” said Mr Mandela.

He said members who had defected but returned to the party cannot stand the test of nomination.

In Nakuru, multiple interviews with the potential nominees revealed that party bosses in the county who are front-runners in the gubernatorial race had a hidden hand in the nomination list that was submitted to IEBC.

In Nyandarua, the nomination of UDA MCAs threatens to tear apart the party with some leaders feeling left out in the exercise, forcing the county party patron and Women rep Faith Gitau to convene a meeting.

After the meeting, each politician was allocated a slot, and governor candidate Dr Kiarie Badilisha was entrusted to ensure the party's national office adheres to the proposed list.

Selfish politicians

“The biggest challenge comes in when politicians become selfish, that is what I was trying to avoid. I encouraged all of us to nominate a candidate to be included in the list. Our prayer is that the national office will respect the wishes of the local leaders,” said Ms Gitau.

Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia said party loyalty, and commitment to marketing the Jubilee Party and Azimio la Umoja were among considerations.

“We shall have vetting to ensure all special groups are represented in the assembly. Our main focus, for now, is to win all MCA positions in the county so that we can have all the nomination slots. Those dedicated to the party during the campaigns and who cannot be absorbed in the MCA nominations will be considered for other positions at the county and national government,” said Governor Kimemia.

In Bomet, current Members of County Assemblies who lost in the UDA primaries are some of those jostling for nomination slots.

Embomos ward MCA Robert Serbai, Ms Clara Cherotich (Kimulot ward) and Ms Alice Chesang (Chemaner) have applied to be slotted in while nominated MCAs – Ms Turgut Janeth Chepkorir, and a former nominated MCA Wilson Kiprotich Keter are seeking to represent people living with disabilities.

In Kericho County, the UDA nominee for the gubernatorial race, Dr Erick Mutai, andMPs and UDA candidates for the parliamentary seats are said to be the key figures vetting those who will end up in the list.


Reporting by Moses Nyamori, Francis Mureithi, Waikwa Maina, Vitalis Kimutai, Robert Kiplagat, Ruth Mbula, George Odiwuor, Kassim Adinasi and Shaban Makokha.

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