The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has declared Abdulkadir Mohammed Haji as the duly-elected senator for Garissa County.
In a gazette notice dated April 6, 2021, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati declared a no-contest as no one else had submitted nomination papers by the March 30, 2021, deadline for those that intending to participate in the senatorial by-election scheduled for Tuesday, May 18.
Haji was cleared on Tuesday last week, March 30, to run for the seat after he presented his Jubilee Party nomination papers to IEBC County Returning Officer Hussein Gure at the North Eastern National Polytechnic College.
“The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) makes a declaration of no contest and declares the person listed in the 1st and 2nd column to the schedule duly elected as Senator, Garissa County,” the notice read in part.
Abdikadir Haji, popularly known as Abdul Haji takes the seat left vacant following the death of his father Yusuf Haji at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, on February 15.
Haji becomes the third politician to be elected unopposed in a by-election after Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi.
Following the death of his father Moses Mudavadi – a former powerful Cabinet minister in the late President Daniel Moi’s government – in 1989, the ANC leader Mudavadi was elected unopposed for the Sabatia parliamentary seat to succeed his father.
In 2014, Mr Kuria also went to parliament unopposed when his main challenger, Mr Kiarie Kamere of the New Democrats Party, quit the race for the Gatundu South parliamentary by-election in 2014. The by-election was occasioned by the death of former MP Joseph Ngugi Nyumu.
Mr Haji, a businessman, first came into the national limelight during the Westgate terror attack in 2013, when he stormed the mall to rescue his elder brother, Noordin Haji, now the Director of Public Prosecutions, who was holed up in the besieged mall.
The businessman, who grew up shooting at the Athi River range, rescued many hostages and was among the key heroes from the tragedy.
Mr Haji, another unidentified man and three policemen, one of them armed with an Ak-47 rifle, entered the mall and rescued terrified people hiding in Java Restaurant.
He was among the first responders to the tragedy.