NGILU’S NARC TIPPED TNA ABOUT KETHI REGISTRATION

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OVERTURES to Kethi Kilonzo from Lands Cabinet secretary Charity Ngilu’s Narc party apparently led to her downfall. Narc officials subsequently tipped off TNA that there might be a problem with her registration.

As Kethi vacillated about whether to stand in the Makueni by-election, multiple sources said Ngilu was tasked by the Jubilee Alliance hierarchy to talk to Kethi and persuade her to run on a TNA ticket in the election to replace her late father Mutula Kilonzo.

However during the Narc discussions in the first week of June, Kethi reportedly hinted at her anomalous voter registration status.

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“The Narc leadership was not sure whether Kethi had really said that she was registered or not but they were sure she had not voted. A team was then put in place to scrutinise the voter registers and see if her name was in it and that was the genesis of the TNA writing to IEBC,” a source familiar with the intrigues said.

Initially even TNA still did not doubt that Kethi was registered because of her vigorous petition at the Supreme Court against the Jubilee presidential victory citing anomalies at the IEBC.

The TNA then approached Ukambani MPs proposing should run as an independent with the support of both side, if she did not agree to run on a Narc ticket.

However the Jubilee alliance decided to bring up the issue of her voter registration after she publicly declared that she “cannot work with her father’s enemies.”

The TNA director of legal affairs Jasper Mbiuki then wrote to the IEBC on June 24 complaining that Kethi was not a registered voter and did not qualify to run for the senate.

Mbiuki’s letter of complain was adopted nearly word for word by former assistant minister Agnes Ndetei who was the main complainant in the case.

Initially Cord appeared confused on Kethi’s voter registration status.First Cord said she had registered as a voter in Woodley, Langata constituency and not in Makueni.

URP’s Fred Muteti and Narc’s Fidelis Nguli then intensified the pressure with a second letter to the IEBC demanding that it should cancel Kethi’s provisional nomination given by the IEBC on June 27.

Throughout all this, Kethi stayed silent but insisted that she was a properly registered voter. She did not contradict Wiper and Cord officials who declared she had registered as a voter at Woodley. The IEBC only commented that the truth would be known when Kethi presented her nomination papers.

During the IEBC tribunal last week, Kethi and her lawyers produced a voter registration acknowledgment slip indicating that she registered at Ngong Forest Primary School.

However the slip indicated that she registered as a voter on December 28, 2011 when the BVR kits were not even in the country.

The IEBC has now stated that the slip was stolen from the book used to register former President Kibaki and that a senior IEBC official is under investigation.

Yesterday, IEBC chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan said the CID was now investigating the theft and the IEBC would discuss the matter at a meeting tomorrow, Thursday.

“We do not wish to be dragged into this as Jubilee. Even Kethi herself knows, the right people to raise those issues is the IEBC,” said new Narc leader Kiema Kalonzo speaking from London.

Yesterday, a visibly angry Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka blamed Jubilee and the IEBC for Kethi’s problems. He said the IEBC had become a puppet of the executive.

“They have perfected a fraudulent approach to elections. We cannot have this body running the elections in 2017. We are putting them on notice,” Musyoka said.

Musyoka said Kethi was a “phenomenal woman” and Jubilee could not afford to mess with the youth, women and progressive forces.

“There can be a Kenyan spring out of this. The IEBC will not get away with this,” Orengo said at a press conference attended by Cord leaders Daniel Maanzo, Johnstone Muthama, Otieno Kajwang, David Musila and Janet Ong’era.

They said barring Kethi from the Senate race was a declaration of a “major political war” against Cord. They said Jubilee “vehemently tried” all means possible to lure Kethi to run for on their ticket.

“The attempts did not bear fruits hence they resolved to frustrate her candidacy. Should she have accepted overtures by Agnes Ndetei, Jubilee’s messenger, would she be going through this torture?” Musyoka asked.

Musyoka said TNA raised the issue of Kethi’s registration before the IEBC realised. “This clearly shows that TNA is IEBC and IEBC is TNA. TNA must have tampered with the voter register hence deleting Kethi’s name,” Musyoka said.

They vowed to ensure that no leader is imposed on the people of Makueni and that Kethi’s name is reinstated on the ballot.

Yesterday IEBC officially gazetted a four candidates for the Makueni election: Harun Mwau of PICK, Philip Kaloki of Narc, Jane Kitundu of LPK and independent candidate Urbanus Muthoka.

Yesterday, the Makueni county returning officer Salad Boru said that he cleared Kethi because he would have been in “big trouble” if she was registered in the two green books. He said he was racing against time as Kethi presented her papers at 2pm on the last day of nominations.

“I gave her the benefit of doubt. It was the best I could do given the circumstances,” he explained. He said Kethi’s documents looked authentic.-the-star.co.ke

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