Women and youth leaders in Nakuru County have called on political parties’ heads to ensure free and fair nominations so that vulnerable and marginalized groups can run for elective seats.
With political heat intensifying in parties as members position themselves to win tickets, the women and youth aspirants – are now urging party leader to ensure a level playground during nominations.
While addressing journalists at a Nakuru hotel, they also decried favouritism that has seen men being handed nomination certificates at the expense of women.
The leaders – through Victor Ngatia who is Secretary General to Movement United for Super Action (MUSA) political party said more women will contest elective posts if they are assured of fair competition.
At the same time the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission(IEBC) has been urged to impose hefty fines and penalties on political parties, candidates, and independent candidates contesting in the August 9 General Election if they contravene the Electoral Code of Conduct.
Mr Ngatia asked politicians to avoid using hate speech or utterances that may spur violence, failure to which, the electoral agency should institute heavy fines.
He pointed out that there are issues which women leaders are better placed to articulate like child and maternal health, persons with disability empowerment and reproductive health.
Mr Ngatia noted that though MUSA had been locked out of the August 9 General election for non compliance with some of the requirements outlined in the laws governing political parties and elections, it had re-submitted its documents to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to enable it participate in future polls.
While giving the guidelines, the IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said the nomination rules must strictly comply with the Constitution, the Elections Act, the Political Parties Act, the Elections (Party Primaries and Party List) Regulations, 2017, and be in accordance with the Party’s Constitution.
All the political parties which submitted their nomination rules by October 18 were found to be noncompliant with the requirements of the law. IEBC had warned that it will reject any rules that do not comply with the two-thirds gender rule.
The MUSA secretary General said the party had notified its 48,000 members intending to run for political positions to join coalitions and parties that had demonstrated ability and resolve to fight corruption, bad governance, negative ethnicity and impunity.
An aspirant for Nakuru Women’s Representative Ms Assumpta Muiruri called on all candidates to outline their manifesto to Kenyans instead of engaging in divisive and mudslinging campaigns.
Ms Muiruri said leaders should aspire to create a democratic state in which all Kenyans will have a better life.
Jimmy Wagafu who is eyeing Member of County Assembly called on the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to invoke its powers and publish the names of persons or institutions whose words or conduct may undermine peace. He said this would hinder the recent rise in violence and intolerance, as Kenya inches closer to the 2022 polls.
“It’s high time to crack the whip. The shameful acts of the leaders going on should be highly condemned. It’s now time to tame these rallies before things get out of hand,” he said.