NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 30 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairperson Wafula Chebukati on Wednesday said impeached leaders cannot contest for elective office insisting that the commission will strictly follow the law in clearing candidates for any upcoming by-election.
Chebukati who weighed in on the candidature of former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, who has since declared interest in the Nairobi gubernatorial by-election, said the ousted county chief and other leaders who have violated provisions of Leadership and Integrity under Chapter Six of the Constitution law stand no chance of being cleared.
“The commission is a creature of the law. We follow the law and will be guided by the law. The law is very clear for instance that a leader who has been impeached cannot run for an electoral position,” he said.
The commission is yet to clear candidates who are seeking to contest in the Nairobi gubernatorial by-election slated for February 18.
Chebukati confirmed that the commission will be gazetting the names of the candidates who will have been cleared by the commission from January 4.
He was categorical that the commission will be working with other relevant agencies to ensure that leaders who have questionable integrity or otherwise have failed the integrity test get to be barred from vying for an elective post.
“We do not work alone and we have always worked with other institutions like the Ethic and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to ensure that candidates who are cleared meet the necessary qualifications,” he said.
Chebukati’s remarks came barely a day after the EACC Chairperson Twalib Mbarak said the agency will reinforce its vetting procedures for all candidates in the upcoming by-elections ostensibly to block aspirants with outstanding integrity issues from seeking office.
He stressed that interested candidates seeking elective posts should conform to the provisions of Chapter Six of the Constitution on Leadership and Integrity to secure clearance.
“The commission considers a person is disqualified from holding public office if the person has been dismissed or otherwise removed from office for contravention of Chapter six of the Constitution or its enabling legislation, in accordance with Article 75(3) of the Constitution,” he said.
Candidates who have since declared interest in the Nairobi gubernatorial race include controversial exiled lawyer Miguna Miguna who was endorsed by the ThirdWay Alliance Party, former Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru, businesswoman Agnes Kagure.
Others are: Homa Bay politician Sammy Wakiaga, ODM party’s women league chairperson Beth Syongo, Bishop Margret Wanjiru and former Town Clerk Philip Kisia.