IEBC gazettes independent candidates, symbols for use at August polls
If you are planning to vote for your favourite presidential candidate in August, brace yourself for the face of a chimpanzee staring back at you as you skim for the preferred place to mark.
Felix Kiprono is an ambitious Kenyan who would like to be the country’s fifth President and he has decided the face of a chimpanzee is the best symbol to represent his dreams and ambitions in the ballot paper.
Kiprono was among the 38 independent applicants who were cleared by the Registrar of Political Parties to vie for the country’s top seat. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) gazetted their names and their symbols on May 13.
Kiprono’s rival for the seat Masira Erastus Nyamera has also picked a crab to accompany his name.
After gazettement, they will be vetted by the commission and cleared if they met all the requirements.
If he is cleared, his name will appear among those of leading candidates Raila Odinga of Azimio coalition whose symbol is five Stars against a blue background and Deputy President William Ruto who has picked a wheelbarrow.
“…have submitted their symbols and expressed intention to contest as independent candidates for the General Election to be held on August 9 and are required to present themselves to the respective Returning Officer on the appointed dates for Commission nominations,” said the gazette notice.
Other eye-catching symbols that might find their way to the ballot paper are that of a man with a bowl begging belonging to Gichira Ptah Solomuzi, the hot shower heater picked by Oganga Stephen Owoko or the iron box by Bernard Neto.
The usual candidates Nazlin Omar has a hand flashing a card as her symbol while Jeremiah Nixon Kukubo has picked a horn. John Mwaniki Nyaga, the son of late Cabinet Minister Joe Nyaga, has picked an ostrich.
Other independent aspirants are Moses Gichuki Ngechu, Munyeki June Juliet, Nyangori Kemunto Dorothy and Kihuha Esther Waringa among others. The IEBC also gazetted for clearance 74 aspirants to vie for governor as independent, 108 (Senate), 95 (woman representatives), 748 (MP) and 4738 (MCA). All the independent aspirants were asked to present at most five symbols from which one was chosen by the registrar as their names were transited to the IEBC. Once the IEBC gazettes the names, the aspirants will appear before the commission for clearance on given dates.
Other than the Sh1 million they will be required to pay, they will also present at least 48,000 signatures of supporters, this is 2,000 from at least 24 counties. They will also be expected to accompany them with copies of IDs of those who have signed. Recently, the Independent Candidates Forum of Kenya asked the IEBC to scrap the requirements saying it was making their quest for election extra harder. “We strongly object to IEBC introducing the requirement for candidates to obtain copies of identity cards from signatories to their nomination.