IEBC Disqualifies UDA’s Kiambu Senate Candidate

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The Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission The Disputes Tribunal disqualified Kiambu’s senatorial candidate, Karungo Wa Thang’wa, from running in the August 9 ballot.

On Sunday, June 19, the IEBC ruled that Karungo had been removed from office by impeachment and would therefore be disqualified from holding public office.

The court rejected the Senate aspirant’s claim that he resigned before his impeachment and upheld the decision of Kiambu’s returning officer not to exonerate the politician.

UDA Senate aspirant Kiambu Karungo Wa Thang’wa campaigning in Kiambu on June 15, 2022.

Karungo Thang’wa

“Our analysis of the facts and the law as presented leads us to the conclusion that the Respondent (IEBC) acted in accordance with the law to refuse the Complainant (Karungo) on the grounds that he was removed from office public and that he stood for appointment outside the terms published in the Gazette,”

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“In light of the foregoing, the committee affirms the returning officer’s decision to decline to name the plaintiff and the complaint is hereby dismissed without an order of costs,” the court noted.

In response, Thang’wa accused the court of making an unfair decision, noting that he would not give up his fight, promising to take the matter to court.

“The IEBC Dispute Resolution Committee has made a very dishonest decision. Let’s meet at the High Court. We won’t let go. We’re here to stay!” He stated.

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On May 26, High Court Judge Anthony Mrima issued a temporary order prohibiting IEBC from cleaning up Thangwa, pending a decision on an appeal filed by Kelvin Njui Wangari.

Wangari had addressed the court to challenge the UDA aspirant’s eligibility to stand for election, citing his dismissal during the reign of former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu.

“The IEBC is prohibited from allowing Paul Karungo Thang’wa to stand as a candidate for elective office in the August 9 general election and/or from printing ballot papers bearing his name or symbol “, reads in part the court order.

Notably, Thang’wa is not the only UDA politician pushing to save his candidacy. Nairobi gubernatorial candidate Johnson Sakaja’s eligibility to compete is in the balance, following questions raised about his degree.

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The Nairobi senator had presented a certificate from Teams University in Uganda to the electoral body, before petitioners challenged his clearance. The IEBC Commission Disputes Tribunal is due to deliver its verdict on the matter on Sunday, June 19.

Already, Sakaja’s legal team has gone to the High Court to challenge the University Teaching Commission’s decision to revoke his degree.

A collage of Janet Museveni at Makerere University's 72nd graduation ceremony on May 24, 2022. and Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja at a previous event.

A collage of Janet Museveni at Makerere University’s 72nd graduation ceremony on May 24, 2022. and Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja at a previous event.

Capital Group

Courtesy of Janet Museveni

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