The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy has accused The National Alliance of orchestrating the removal of lawyer Kethi Kilonzo’s name from the voters’ register.
Cord leaders, who vowed to move to the High Court to ensure Ms Kilonzo is allowed to vie for the Makueni senatorial seat, also accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of receiving orders from the Executive.
Former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka said TNA used IEBC to delete Ms Kilonzo’s name from the register as it feared she was a strong candidate for the seat, which fell vacant following the death of her father Mutula Kilonzo.
“Of concern is the manner in which TNA, a major player in the Jubilee Coalition raised the issue of Kethi’s voter registration status without the knowledge of the electoral body, begging the question of who is the custodian of the IEBC’s vote register. This clearly shows that TNA is IEBC and IEBC is TNA. TNA must have tampered with the voter register, hence deleting Kethi’s name,” a bitter Mr Musyoka said.
Mr Musyoka, who was accompanied by a number of Cord senators and MPs, told journalists at Serena Hotel in Nairobi Tuesday that TNA tried to lure Ms Kilonzo to vie on any of its affiliate parties’ ticket and that after it failed “it decided to persecute her”.
He said there were also attempts to divide the late Mutula’s family.
Contacted, TNA chairman Johnson Sakaja said he was in a meeting while Secretary General Onyango Oloo’s phone went unanswered.
Mr Musyoka said Cord is confident the High Court will overturn IEBC’s tribunal move to bar Ms Kilonzo from vying for the seat on a Wiper ticket as she had been validly cleared.
Siaya Senator James Orengo said IEBC could not be a judge and a prosecutor of a complaint against itself.
“The law says what exactly should happen during nomination process. The returning officer for Makueni said Kethi had been validly nominated and even congratulated her. We cannot let IEBC get away with this,” Mr Orengo said.
Mr Orengo and Mr Musyoka said IEBC as constituted could not be trusted to oversee a free and fair election and that its action could result to an uprising as witnessed in Egypt.
Mr Musyoka likened the IEBC move to block Ms Kilonzo from vying to the Supreme Court’s decision to affirm the election of President Kenyatta despite irregularities in the March 4 polls, to the dissatisfaction of millions of Kenyans.
“This is a major political war against Cord, disguised as a legal battle in an obvious attempt to impose a leader on the good people of the greater Makueni County to choose for the sake of democracy,” Mr Musyoka said.
He said the independence of IEBC is questionable and that its audit processes continues to reveal anomalies “which raise serious questions on the credibility of the IEBC processes, operations, systems and the outcome”.
Mr Musyoka said Makueni residents should be allowed to elect a leader of their choice and that no one should be imposed on them.
Asked if Cord has another plan if the High Court affirms IEBC’s decision to bar Ms Kilonzo from vying, Mr Musyoka said: “We are not talking about plan B.”
“We have confidence justice is going to be done. Kethi is choice of youth, professionals and women,” Mr Musyoka said.
He said it was wrong for IEBC to revisit Ms Kilonzo’s candidature after clearing her.
On Tuesday, IEBC gazetted the names of four candidates who will battle it out during the July 22 by election.
The candidates include the National Rainbow Coalition’s Philip Kaloki, Jane Kitundu of the Labour Party of Kenya (LPK), John Harun Mwau of the Party of Independent Candidates of Kenya (PICK) and Urbanus Muthaka who is an independent candidate.
The commission chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan also gazetted 125 polling centres in Makunei County as required by the law ahead of the mini poll.-nation.co.ke