Three Ways Mariga Used to Beat IEBC Case Hands-Down

Image result for McDonald Mariga
Former football star McDonald Mariga

While Kenyans waited with bated breath to determine the verdict of the case between McDonald Mariga and IEBC, the former football star had all confidence in his legal team.

As can now be seen, all the three grey areas which seemed to thin the chances of Mariga’s chances were sitting on quicksand.

1. Place of Voter Registration

During his registration on August 26, twelve days after registration of voters were called off following the gazettement of the Kibra Parliamentary seat, Mariga seems to have foreseen the storm ahead.

Section 5 (1) b of the Elections Act states that all electoral activities including voter registration must stop upon declaration of a vacancy.

However, Mariga would proceed to register at Kariorkor Social Hall which is in Starehe Constituency.

Mariga skillfully registered in Starehe as, according to the Law, “registration of voters was frozen as soon as National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi declared the Kibra seat vacant.”

However, voter registration in other constituencies other than Kibra would go on continuously as stated by the law.

2. Authenticity of Acknowledgement Slip

Another document of contention was Mariga’s voter registration acknowledgement slip. Upon scrutiny, Kibra returning officer revealed that the slip was not signed by Mariga by as required by law.

However, the Wafula Chebukati-led IEBC dispute resolution committee would give the unsigned slip a new lease of life after cross-checking its authenticity in the KIEMS kit.

The team concluded that all the details in the KIEMS kit matched those recorded in the acknowledgement slip, including the serial and voter’s number were authentic.

Last week Tuesday, IEBC  Returning Officer Beatrice Muli invalidated Mariga’s candidacy, saying his name would not be found in the voters’ roll.

“As indicated, Mariga names details could not be found in the register and therefore the candidate is not qualified as per our checklist, as the RO guided with the regulations the law, therefore, guided me to invalidate the candidature of Mariga,” Ms Muli said.

However, Wafula Chebukati and the IEBC commissioners advised Muli to clear Mariga- a decision she wouldn’t budge to.

Muli argued that IEBC officials bear personal responsibility and that she would not allow herself to be used to commit an illegality. Instead, Muli advised Mariga to seek legal redress.

3. Time of Registration

Full ware that the window for registration of voters had lapsed, Mariga seemed to have been advised to register at Starehe instead in order to cheat the law restricting registration in Kibra.

At the time he was coming for clearance by Kibra Returning officer, his details were yet to reflect on the KIEMS kit, a matter that led to the invalidation of his candidacy.

However, ruling on the matter Monday, IEBC Chair Chebukati said the fact that Mariga’s name could not be found in the KIEMS kits was a technical hitch that was common with the system.

Reacting to the ruling, Mariga said he was happy justice had been done and that this was an opportunity for Kibra residents to choose a leader of their choice in the elections slated for November 7.



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