Nomination rolls for MCAs spark protests as people with disabilities are ignored
The official release of county assembly candidates has sparked a firestorm with accusations that some names have been removed and replaced with those of politicians’ friends and family.
In Kericho, Benjamin Koech complains about an official list of 17 candidates for the county assembly.
People Living with Disabilities (PLWD) and members of the Ogiek community said some names were changed in the final list submitted to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
Koech pointed out that the UDA’s official nomination list differs from that of the IEBC, dated July 27.
“The official UDA nomination list does not comply with the constitutional requirement of inclusiveness as it has no representation from PLWD, yet I had applied to the party as a PLWD,” a- he said in a letter to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) general secretary.
“By design, the list published in the Kenya Gazette shows that there was a plan to deny PLWD the opportunity to be nominated.”
Four people on the IEBC list in the marginalized category are Opile Noela Omollo, Mercy Njeri Gikonyo, Issack Matkeir and Vincent Kipngetich Koskei.
Governor Dr Erick Mutai said his administration was also aggrieved by the issue.
“I really wanted a properly constituted assembly with people with disabilities, minorities and the marginalized. Besides Kericho, persons with disabilities were not included in 21 counties. What happened is an insult to the Constitution,” he said.
Kapsoit MCA Paul Chirchir said there should be no swearing in of ward representatives – elected and appointed – until the issue is resolved. The first session of the departmental assembly is scheduled for September 20.
In Bomet, members of the Ogiek community are also unhappy with the official list of candidates representing marginalized groups.
Former MCA Wilson Keter, named, says PLWD has been wronged.
Keter, who is also the president of the Bomet branch of the Kenya Society for the Blind, said the appointment of a single person to represent people with disabilities was against the law.
He said the decision to choose someone was in bad faith and that he would challenge the list and stop the swearing-in of nominated MCAs next week. “We won’t let the party get away with this. We will fight until the end and ensure that people with disabilities have their place. »
William Koros, the general secretary of the Independent Ogiek Council of South West Mau said they had nothing to smile about.
He said they were heading to court to claim the minority spot, and added that they had written a protest letter to the IEBC and UDA demanding answers. “We are unhappy and have written to the UDA and IEBC protesting the decision to lock us out.”
Heard and determined
Scotty Vincent, a lawyer, who vouched for the appointment of marginalized members of the Talai clan in the county, lamented that the Talai were only relevant during the campaign period. “It doesn’t make sense that Talai and people with disabilities are left out of the nominations,” he said.
In Baringo, Edwin Kandie, the president of the PLWD association, said they were also sidelined in 2017. “Two of us applied but we weren’t included,” said he said and regretted that the lack of people with disabilities in the assembly means that their problems will not be solved.
He said they would stop the swearing in of MCAs through a court injunction.
In Kakamega, Ford Kenya-allied PLWD threatened to stop the swearing-in of appointed MCAs after the party failed to secure a slot for them.
Led by Adrian Sakwa, president of the County Disability Empowerment Network, they claimed the party wronged them by not honoring an agreement they had signed.
“We are going to court to seek restraining orders so that the named MCAs are not sworn in until the case is heard and decided,” he said.
“The law is very clear that in all elective and appointed positions PLWDs must be included, but our party ignored it and 21 counties did not include PLWDs in their rolls,” he said. he declares.
The sentiments were echoed by Titus Ndalu, also an official with the County Disability Network, who said he would seek justice in court.
“We have suffered since 2017 and yet the law is clear,” he said.
Exposed the flaws
In Murang’a, UDA supporters claim that the party list has been falsified. They also threatened to stop the swearing-in of appointed MCAs by going to court.
Mathioya UDA campaigns coordinator Bernard Kuria said it was unfair for Kiharu constituency to get seven nomination spots despite the sharing agreement they signed on July 11.
“The official publication of the candidates for the Murang’a County Assembly exposed the flaws in the exercise,” Kuria said, adding that their concerns should be addressed urgently as those nominated for the nominations were left out without being told why.
In Isiolo, residents protested the appointment of Kelvin Mbuthia Waruguru to the County Assembly despite being from Laikipia County.
Mbuthia is the brother of former Laikipia MP Catherine Waruguru.
In a statement released yesterday, IEBC President Wafula Chebukati said they had followed the law in releasing the names.
“The formula for allocating seats to the respective political parties from the party lists will be the number of seats won by a political party divided by the total number of seats multiplied by the seats available for allocation in the respective chamber”, Chebukati said in a statement. statement.
He said the formulas that have been applied through an electronic system are simple, safe and accurate and leave no room for human intervention or bias.
“The Commission completed the process and released the Senate and National Assembly appointees on September 7, 2022 and the list of 47 county assembly appointees on September 9, 2022,” he said.
“We wish to inform the public that, in accordance with the Constitution and the Election Law, the party list remains a closed list on the date of the general election and for the duration of the term of Parliament or the County Assembly, as the case may be, for which the nominees are elected and cannot be changed except by court order.”
Reporting by Nikko Tanui, Gilbert Kimutai and Yvonne Chepkwony, Juliet Omelo, Boniface Gikandi