Good news for Waititu as IEBC gazettes his name for Nairobi gubernatorial race

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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,6TH JAN,2021-Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu has received a reprieve in his quest to succeed Mike Sonko as the next Nairobi Governor.

This is after the IEBC published his name among 12 independent candidates seeking to battle it out to take charge at City Hall.

Waititu, well known as Babayao had earlier challenged a decision by the electoral commission barring him from running in the Nairobi governor by-election.

Waititu faulted IEBC’s decision saying though he faces a corruption case, he has not been convicted of any offence and as such he has the right to vie for governor.

“As it stands, the applicant in this matter has not been convicted of any crime and has fully complied with all electoral guidelines provided when running for the aforementioned electoral position,” the court was told.

Waititu was impeached as governor of Kiambu county in 2020 but has since expressed interest in contesting for the Nairobi county seat in the forthcoming election, which has been suspended pending a case filed by Sonko.

The Nairobi office became vacant following the impeachment of Sonko.

Waititu’s political career seemed to have taken a wrong turn after EACC seemingly locked him out from holding any public office in the future.

In a statement last month, EACC said all persons offering themselves as independent candidates or seeking party nominations for election must meet the integrity threshold under Chapter 6 of the Constitution.

“The commission considers a person is disqualified from holding public office if the person has as been dismissed or otherwise removed from office for contravention of Chapter 6 of the Constitution or its enabling legislation, in accordance with Article 75(3) of the Constitution,” EACC said.

CEO Twalib Mbarak said a person is also disqualified if found, in accordance with any law, to have misused or abused a state office or public office or in any way to have contravened Chapter 6 as contemplated under Articles 99(2)(h) and 193(2)(g).

“For the avoidance of doubt, the finding contemplated in these clauses includes the finding of a court of law and any other competent agency mandated to interpret or apply the Constitution, ” the statement read.

EACC said it has a constitutional responsibility to advise IEBC on the integrity compliance status of all candidates pursuant to Chapter 6 of the Constitution.

A day after he moved to court, IEBC in a gazette notice published Waititu’s name among those cleared.

Other independent candidates include Ogwang Raymond Ndungu, Kiigi Evans Machoka, Lengala David William, Hassan Jimal Ibrahim, Dr Noah Winja, Otieno Aloys Lavern, Mukundi Mathenge, Munyanya Yassin, Olingo Timothy Ayieko and Njuru Phyllis Wangari.

In the same gazette notice, the IEBC announced that Dennis Waweru, Agnes Kagure, Betty Adhiambo, Alex Kipchirchir and Habib Omar will contest under Jubilee Party primaries scheduled on January 9.

The gubernatorial by-election had been gazetted for February 18, though the Court suspended it until a petition filed by Sonko is heard and determined.

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