The Star has revealed that IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati together with two of his commissioners ignored ignored the internal legal team and ordered Kibra returning officer to clear Mariga.
It is claimed that while Mariga is considered a project of the DP William Ruto, the IEBC’s legal and ICT team was against him being cleared to vie for the seat because his name was not in the voters register.
Mariga applied for registration on August 26 in Kariakor, two weeks after the National Assembly Speaker declared the Kibra seat vacant.
Section 5 (1)b of the Elections Act stipulates that all electoral activities including voter registration must stop as soon as the a seat is declared vacant.
“Mariga applied for registration on August 26 after the vacancy was declared on August 14 and IEBC gazetted the by-election on August 16, two days later. By law, the application must be brought to headquarters and all details confirmed before they can be put in the voters’ roll. Once that is done the register will have to be gazetted.
“In this case, Mariga’s application is still pending. He cannot, therefore, be cleared to vie,” said an IEBC official.
Muli ignored pressure and declined to clear Mariga saying that she would be held responsible in case of any election malpractice.
“The law is very clear that IEBC election officials will be held personally liable for any electoral offence. She refused to commit an offence,” said another IEBC official.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission barred Mariga from presenting his nomination papers after the last-minute discovery that his name was missing from the register of voters.
The move is threatening to completely block Jubilee from presenting a candidate is the mini-poll.
Pro-handshake crusaders within the ruling party who are linked to President Uhuru Kenyatta have been opposed to a Jubilee candidate taking on Opposition chief Raila Odinga in the November 7 poll.
On Tuesday evening, IEBC returning officer Muli told Mariga to seek redress with the IEBC Disputes Resolution Board.
“We have invalidated Mariga’s nomination,” Muli declared, triggering a nasty confrontation with Jubilee leaders who for the first time termed the commission as incompetent.
Infuriated by the decision, Lang’ata MP Nixon Korir said that Mariga who has seven days to appeal the decision by IEBC is a victim of an incompetent IEBC.
“He is registered by the voter register they were using was that of 2017. Administrative incompetence of the IEBC should not deny Mariga his democratic right of contesting for the seat,” Korir said.
The decision to rull out Mariga does not come as a surprise within the Jubilee circles doubling up to claims that the ex-footballer may have changed his age in his original ID, a matter that could land him in legal problems.
In 2013, lawyer Kethi Kilonzo was persecuted for fraudulently acquiring a voter’s card after it emerged that she was not a registered voter.
Mariga who has said that he is saddened by the decision has urged his supporters to be patient as he makes an appeal to IEBC.