ODM Party’s communications director Philip Etale mocked Jubilee Party candidate McDonald Mariga on Thursday, November 7, as Kibra residents took to the ballot to elect their MP following Ken Okoth’s death that occurred on July 26.
Etale snidely said he will give Ksh5, 000 to anyone who will spot Mariga voting in Kibra.
Of course, Mariga is not a registered voter in Kibra, but Starehe Constituency, hence there is no way he can be allowed to vote in the constituency he is seeking to represent.
Taking to his Twitter page on Thursday morning, Etale said: “Good morning. I have a cash prize of Ksh5, 000 to give to the FIRST person who will send me a photo of one McDonald Mariga casting his ballot in today’s by-election. Send me the photo and you will have the 5K.”
K24 Digital understands that Mariga will be at Lindi Mosque in Kibra at 10:30am, where he is expected to begin a tour to different polling stations to observe the voting exercise.
Mariga’s bid to represent Jubilee Party in the Ken Okoth-succession race suffered hurdles before he was finally cleared to vie.
On September 10, IEBC returning officer for Kibra, Beatrice Muli, invalidated Mariga’s candidature on grounds that he was not a registered voter as is required in Chapter 8 of the Constitution of Kenya.
Mariga filed an appeal challenging IEBC’s decision to invalidate his candidature for the Kibra by-election.
In his complaint, he stated that he registered as a voter on August 26, 2019 at the Kariokor Social Hall polling station. The IEBC Dispute Resolution Committee heard submissions from interested parties on September 13, and delivered a ruling on the matter on September 16.
In the ruling the IEBC’s Dispute Resolution committee reversed Muli’s decision invalidating Mariga’s candidature.
The committee, led by IEBC chairperson, Wafula Chebukati, reversed the ruling on the grounds that Mariga is a duly registered voter in Starehe constituency, and therefore eligible to contest the Kibra by-election.
Chebukati directed the commission’s returning officer to process Mariga’s application as stipulated by the law.
Mariga faces off against 23 other candidates, among them ODM’s Bernard ‘Imran’ Okoth and ANC’s Eliud Owalo.
On October 25, IEBC announced — through a Gazette Notice — that there are 118,658 registered voters in Kibra.
The Notice indicated that the revision of the voters’ register had been completed following a verification exercise.
It also showed that Laini Saba has 17,455 voters, Lindi 16,688, Makina 25,695, Woodley/ Kenyatta Golf Course 28,066 and Sarangombe 30,754.
On Thursday, November 7, voting kicked off smoothly in most polling stations across Kibra, with ODM secretary-general Edwin Sifuna lauding IEBC for opening the voting booths early enough.