IEBC CLEARS KETHI FOR MAKUENI

Friday, June 28, 2013 - 00:00 -- BY ANITA MUNYITHYA

KETHI Kilonzo was yesterday cleared to run in the by-election for the Makueni senate by-election by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

The commission gave anyone doubting the credentials of the daughter of the late Makueni senator Mutula Kilonzo seven days to lodge complaint.

TNA had written to the IEBC this week claiming that Kethi's name was not on the voters register, which would prevent from standing in the election.

Kethi presented her Wiper nomination papers along with her voter’s card at noon but had to wait as the BVR kit at Makueni Multi-Purpose Hall in Wote could not trace her details.

Tension was high as her supporters and Cord leaders demanded that she be cleared. Senators Johnston Muthama (Machakos) and James Orengo (Siaya) requested IEBC top officials to search for her name in the records.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, and Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetangula were also present.

At one point Makueni returning officer Salad Boru asked for more time to verify Kethi's name from the blue book at the Karen polling centre where she had registered and voted during the March 4 general election.

Eventually, Kethi was called back and cleared. Boru presented her with the clearance certificate amid jubilation from the Cord leaders and her supporters.

“I am presenting this clearance certificate to Kethi to vie for the Makueni senate seat during the by election slated for July 22. This certificate is valid. It was our burden to prove that the documents submitted were alright,” Boru said.

He advised those who have issues with her clearance to file their complaints with the IEBC resolution committees within the next seven days.

Security was tight at the hall with police present since morning in full riot gear.

Earlier, the IEBC cleared Jubilee’s Prof Philip Kaloki. Other candidates cleared on Wednesday were Jane Kitundu of Labour party of Kenya and Harun Mwau of PICK.

Addressing the first campaign rally at Unoa grounds after Kethi was cleared, Raila  asked the IEBC to publish the full results of the last general elections. He said that the law which stipulated that full results should be released within 14 days.

He claimed that the delay was proof that the results were doctored. 

“I demand for the results to be published with immediate effect because that’s what the law demands. We need to see them in order for us to be satisfied,” Raila said.

He praised Kethi saying that she displayed exemplary courage at the Supreme Court during the hearing of the presidential election petition. He said Kethi might be small in body but her mind was big and she therefore deserved the votes of the Makueni people.

“Let nobody lie to you that you are not in government. The government has already been devolved through the 47 counties and the national government has a mandate to give counties money as the law stipulates,” he said.

Kalonzo said just like her late father Mutula, Kethi was the right choice for Makueni. 

“Please I beg you not to fall for the money that would be dished out by the wealthy candidates and sell out your votes. Vote for Kethi,” he said.

Wetangula said Cord is ready to handle any Jubilee challenge on Kethi’s eligibility. He said Cord will jealously guard Kethi’s vote on July 22 to ensure the win was resounding.

“You asked me to contest the seat and here I am. Please ensure you vote for me to win because I can assure you that I am able to fight for the equalization fund meant for the county besides drafting bills meant to develop counties,” Kethi said.

Earlier, Kaloki said the people of Makueni need to be linked with the government through him.