Politicians with pending graft cases or under investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) are likely to be locked out from participating in the August 8th polls after the electoral commission spelt out new electoral rules.
Under the new guidelines tabled by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in Parliament this week, all political aspirants seeking any elective seat must be cleared by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
The new rules have sent panic across the political divide as it spells doom for politicians with integrity questions.
A dozen of politicians both incumbents and aspirants for the seat of senate, governors and even members of parliament.
Among candidates whose candidature could be imperilled are five governors under investigation and two charged with corruption-related offences, as well as Trans Nzoia MCAs charged on Monday for similar offences.
Governors Ali Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Evans Kidero (Nairobi) Isaac Ruto (Bomet) Godana Doyo (Isiolo), Okoth Obado (Migori), Samuel Tunai (Narok) among others led the pack of governors currently under investigation by the anti-graft body over graft allegations.
Other include Peter Munya (Meru), Alfred Mutua, (Machakos), Ukur Yattani (Marsabit) and Kilifi Governor Akingi Amason.
Senators James Orengo (Siaya) and Johnstone Muthama (Machakos) are similarly facing integrity queries.
Mps Alfred Keter(Nandi Hills) alongside nominated MP Sonia Birdi are under investigation for breaching Chapter 6 of the Constitution on integrity by using foul language and intimidating government officials at a weighbridge. He faces these investigations.
The integrity axe may also fall on, Charity Ngilu, former Cabinet secretary for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, her former cabinet colleague Felix Koskei, CS, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries who are all governship hopefuls for Kitui and Nandi respectively.
Francis Kimemia, the former Secretary to the Cabinet may also be locked as he is facing accusation of using his office to deprive former employees of Kenya Railway Corporation houses meant for them to buy; and irregular award of a Sh1bn tender in Interior Ministry.
The polls team regulations which is a total departure from the past seeks to enforce chiropter six of the new constitution which has been largely been abused.
In the past, aspirants were only required to fill arbitrary self-declaration forms as proof of their integrity.
“A candidate shall obtain and submit clearance from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission as prescribed under the Leadership and Integrity Act.” new regulations states.
It is supposed to replace another that states: “A candidate shall submit a self-declaration form as prescribed in the First Schedule to the Leadership and Integrity Act.”
Under the Act, a person intending to be appointed to a State office is required to submit to the anti-graft team a self-declaration form.
Should MPs approve the regulations tabled in the National Assembly, the new regulations will set out the rules for IEBC’s involvement in party primaries.
Wafula Chebukati led commission in his submission agency appears to throw a spanner in the works of political parties keen to use its services to conduct the nominations.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the commission’s role in party primaries shall be limited to the supervision and conduct of party primaries on the days set side for nomination and shall not participate in the preparation of party lists, save as authorised by law,” state the new regulations.
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Political parties are expected to choose their candidates in April in readiness for the main campaigns leading to the August polls.
However, in the regulations the polls agency gives itself the power to reject party lists submitted by political parties where the lists do not conform to the requirement of the Constitution or if the party fails to submit revised party lists after the lapse of the 45-days deadline before the elections.
The electoral agency has also tightened rules for candidates wishing to represent youths and persons with disability, stating that such persons must provide proof of their age and disability among other issues.
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