Azimio’s Fernandes Barasa sues IEBC for postponing Kakamega governor race
Fernandes Barasa has filed a petition at the Kakamega High Court challenging the postponement of the Kakamega gubernatorial poll.
In a petition lodged in court on Thursday, August 18, 2022, Barasa and his running mate Ayub Savula want the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) compelled to conduct the election on August 23 as earlier scheduled.
Speaking to members of the press in Kakamega town, the leaders allied to the Azimio One Kenya coalition accused IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati of 'meddling in the county politics'.
Kakamega electorate ready for polls
Barasa said the electorate is prepared for the polls and should be allowed to exercise their democratic right.
According to the candidate, the Kakamega county IEBC returning officer had assured gubernatorial candidates across the political divide that they were ready to conduct the election next week given the prevailing peace in the county.
Chebukati said the commission resolved to postpone the polls indefinitely over harassment of the commission’s staff in the course of executing their mandate.
While dismissing Chebukati's claims, Barasa insisted that Kakamega is peaceful and ready for elections.
"We are upset by the decision by Chebukati because we are ready for the elections on August 23. We had a meeting with Joseph Ayata the county returning officer who told us all is set," Barasa stated.
He alleged a plot to impose 'unpopular' leaders allied to Kenya Kwanza Alliance on the people of Kakamega.
Exuding confidence that they will clinch the governor's seat, the Azimio duo urged the residents to remain calm as the court process continues.
"Chebukati is the National Returning officer. Ayata had assured us that all was set because he is the returning officer for Kakamega. We have not experienced any cases of violence in Kakamega. We urge our supporters to remain calm and maintain peace," Savula said.
Elsewhere in Mombasa, three residents filed a petition seeking to compel IEBC to conduct elections for the Mombasa gubernatorial race within the next 14 days.
The trio namely Thank Mohamed, Moses Aran, and Kevin Nzuki in a petition filed before Mombasa High Court sued IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati, the Ministry of Interior, and the Attorney General.
The petitioners, through their Lawyer Willis Oluga, argue that the commission's move was in bad faith.
"The IEBC has not indicated at all if there is a breach of peace in Mombasa County or the other seven electoral areas and that the 3rd respondent (Interior Ministry) is not able to offer security so as to warrant the postponement of the elections," court papers read in part.
IEBC first postponed the governor seat election in Mombasa and Kakamega following ballot papers mix-up. The elections had initially been slated for August 9.