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IEBC set to announce Ugenya, Embakasi South by-polls date

Sunday January 6 2019

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati before the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee on July 5, 2018. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DAVID MWERE
By DAVID MWERE
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The electoral commission is on Monday morning expected to announce the date for by-elections in Ugenya and Embakasi South constituencies.

The by-polls will take place since the Supreme Court nullified the election of MPs Christopher Karan (Ugenya) and Julius Mawathe (Embakasi South) in the August 8, 2017 general election.

WRITS

The imminent announcement by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), chaired by Mr Wafula Chebukati, comes after National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi issued writs on Friday, officially declaring the seats vacant.

Other than Mr Chebukati, the IEBC has two other commissioners — Mr Boya Molu and Mr Abdi Guliye.

Vice-chairperson Connie Maina and commissioners Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat resigned early 2018 while Dr Roselyn Akombe quit ahead of the repeat October 26, 2017 presidential election.

On Sunday, National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai confirmed that the speaker had notified the IEBC and that the writs were dispatched to the Government Printer for publication in the Kenya Gazette.

“The delay by a day was caused by the delay in serving the House with the Supreme Court orders [on] Ugenya, which were served on Thursday afternoon,” Mr Sialai said.

The Supreme Court overturned the election of the two MPs on December 21 last year.

THE CASES

In the case of Ugenya, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s decision to cancel Mr Karan’s election, Justice Hannah Okwengu pointing out that irregularities subverted the people's will.

Mr Karan then moved to the Supreme Court but it ordered a fresh election.

In the case of Embakasi South, the apex court said the commission could not show the contents of the original form 35A, so doubt was cast on the accuracy on the declaration of Mr Mawathe as winner.

On Friday, businessman Jairus Mulei Musyoka announced that he had joined the Embakasi South race.

He said he was ready to face heavy-weights Mawathe and former MP Irshad Sumra.