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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,13TH SEPT 2019-Jubilee party’s candidate for Kibra Mini poll MacDonald Mariga will on Monday next week know whether he will be allowed to participate in the exercise set for November 7 or not.The ruling is set to be delivered by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Dispute Resolution Committee .
Mariga was dealt a major blow on Tuesday after the electoral agency, through the Kibra Returning Officer Beatrice Muli failed to clear him on grounds that he was not a registered voter, claims which have however, been disputed by his legal team.
Chebukati was flanked by Commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Mulu during the session in which the committee analyzed presentations from either party on the voter registration status of the Jubilee Party candidate.
Besides the legal team, Mariga was also accompanied by Langata MP Nixon Korir who has been a close associate to him and a strong critic to the ruling that locked him out of the race.
In her judgement which has since attracted sharp criticism from the ruling Jubilee Party, Muli opined that Mariga was not a registered voter hence was ineligible to contest in the Kibra parliamentary by-election that saw 23 candidates cleared to participate in the race while three were disqualified, including Mariga.
Oguya demonstrated to the committee that Mariga was indeed a registered voter, citing that he had been given an acknowledgement slip in Starehe Constituency when he registered as a voter on the August 26, with Oguya stressing that the slip was a legal document that proved that his’s client’s rights were violated.
“He is a registered voter and has a right to vie. The returning officer has violated provisions in the constitution on registration of voters because the applicant before you, has met the required qualifications as per the constitution,” Oguya said.
According to the IEBC Elections Act, Article 5(1)(b), registration of voters in the case of a by-election, shall happen between the date of the declaration of the vacancy of the seat and the date of such by-election.
Starehe Constituency Deputy Returning Officer Ismail Yassin confirmed to the committee that Mariga had registered as a voter on August 26.
“I can confirm to the commission that Mariga was registered on that particular day at five minutes past midday,” he said.
Oguya submitted that the Returning Officer failed to do due diligence in confirming whether Mariga was a registered voter and faulted her for relying on the 2017 voters register that he claimed was not updated.
“Even if it was an innocent mistake, we must admit that a mistake was committed, and it needs to be corrected. As a matter of fact, she was therefore under obligation to do a further obligation. She fell in error in law,” he said.