IEBC opens up disputes resolution window

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati who has said that impeached politicians will be barred from contesting in the August General Election. But those with pending criminal cases have been let off the hook.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

The Independence Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has said it will from next month begin preparation of ballot papers in readiness for the August 9 polls.

This follows the close of clearance of different candidates set to contest for various seats in the upcoming elections.

IEBC Chairperson Mr Wafula Chebukati said from Thursday, the Commission will open a 10-day window for aggrieved aspirants to lodge their complaints with the IEBC Dispute Resolution Committee.

He said the law expects disputes on decisions made by the electoral agency’s returning officers to arise and that is the reason the period has been provided for.

However, since some aggrieved parties may want to proceed to the High Court, the Commission is looking at two weeks for all the disputes to be determined.

“The nomination exercise will end on June 8 and then from June 9 the 10-day disputes window opens. Some individuals may want to go to court but come the end of this month, we shall be proceeding to prepare the ballot papers,” said Mr Chebukati.

Safina Party leader Jimi Wanjigi had yesterday intimated that he will proceed to the committee to lodge complaints after his application for nomination as a presidential candidate was rejected by the IEBC for lack of a university degree.

The IEBC boss urged Kenyans with any new information concerning candidates who have been cleared to present the same before the dispute resolution committee.

“You may have information about any of the candidates and I urge Kenyans with such information to bring it forward and you will have an opportunity to file a dispute with it. Anybody who is not satisfied can proceed to the committee and exhaust the remedies available,” he said.

The Commission yesterday said it relied on new information presented before it to revoke clearance of Umoja Summit Party leader Walter Mong'are alias Nyambane as a presidential candidate.

Mr Chebukati said Mr Mong’are's clearance was done on limited information regarding his academic qualifications but when the IEBC was seized of new information, they moved swiftly to omit him from the list of cleared presidential candidates for lack of a university degree.  

Mr Mongare had been cleared last week on June 2 as the first presidential candidate.

“Upon discovery of new information of lack of university degree on the part of Walter Mong'are, we invited him to appear before us but he didn't not honour our invitation. I hereby revoke the nomination of Walter Mongare dated June 2 pursuant to regulation 42(2)(c) of election regulations,” he said.

Yesterday, a three-judge bench discharged orders that barred IEBC from clearing UDA nominee for Kiambu senate seat Karungo wa Thang’wa and Mike Sonko for Governor seat in Mombasa.

Justices David Majanja, Chacha Mwita and Mugure Thande said they have the jurisdiction to vary the orders granted by Justice Anthony Mrima and John Mativo in Mombasa.

“If orders come from the courts, we will comply with them and that is why we have the window for resolving disputes before we finalise everything in readiness for ballot printing,” said Mr Chebukati.