- Mariga's nomination as the Jubilee candidate for the November 7 mini poll was invalidated last Tuesday because his details were missing from the voters roll of 2017.
- Mr Ongoya argued that the respondent, Kibra constituency returning officer Beatrice Saki Muli, erred in nullifying Mr Mariga’s candidature
- Now cleared, Mr Mariga is hoping to be among the footballers who have left the playing fields of football and excelled in politics
The electoral commission's Disputes Resolution Tribunal has cleared former Harambee Stars midfielder McDonald Mariga to vie in the Kibra Constituency by-election.
The nomination of the Jubilee candidate for the November 7 mini poll was invalidated by the electoral agency last Tuesday because his details were missing from the voters roll of 2017.
Wafula Chebukati, chairman of Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), announced on Monday that Mariga is eligible to vie for the MP's seat that fell vacant following the death of Ken Okoth in July.
Mr Chebukati said the returning officer who had blocked the football star did not take into account the updated register from Starehe Constituency.
The legal team representing Mr Mariga, led by Elisha Ongoya, had called on the committee to remedy the error and allow the complainant to take part in the mini poll.
Mr Ongoya argued that the respondent, Kibra constituency returning officer Beatrice Saki Muli, erred in nullifying Mr Mariga’s candidature and as such, it will deny voters in Kibra a right to choose their candidate of choice as well as disenfranchise the rights of the complainant.
“I am not blaming the returning officer for making the error and even if it was an innocent mistake, it is one that must be corrected by the committee to give the people of Kibra a full menu of contestants to choose from,” said Mr Ongoya.
He submitted that Mr Mariga has all the requirements enlisted by the Constitution concerning elections and observed that the laws points out that one only has to be a registered voter and that the registration exercise is a continuous one.
“The law on registration during by-elections refers to that specific place where any continuous voter registration should be stopped and so the returning officer did not go farther to check the whole register,” he said.
However, the second interested party sought to have the appeal dismissed maintaining that the complainant registered outside the window required by the law and so should not be part of the aspirants.