Public hearing on Wetangula political fate commences

By KBC Reporters

A Special committee of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Tuesday begun a public hearing at the Milimani Law Courts to determine whether or not Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula should be struck from the voters’ register.

Wetangula’s lead counsel Senator James Orengo told the committee that the Supreme Court did not find any criminality against his client in its ruling.

While quoting the constitution, Orengo said “A person may be disqualified from being elected, {not voting} if he is of an unsound mind, an undischarged bankrupt, Sentenced to a jail term exceeding 6 months either at the time of registration as a candidate or election or is found to have contravened chapter six or have misused or abused State/Public office.”

The Supreme Court upheld a ruling by the Court of Appeal that found Wetangula guilty of voter bribery in the 2013 general elections.

The special IEBC committee was appointed by Chairman Isaac Hassan and headed by Commissioner Thomas Letangule. Other members are Lilian Mahiri-Zaja, Mohamed Alawi, Crispin Owiye and Moses Kipkogei.

The committee was constituted after Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro on October 23, 2014 published the Supreme Court ruling pursuant to section 87 (3) of the Election Act in respect of electoral offences committed.

Wetangula is accused of bribing voters in Bungoma during the 2013 General Election. He has a chance to defend himself after the Supreme Court upheld a decision that found him guilty of voter bribery.

The outspoken Senator and CORD Co-Principal has a team of lawyers led by Senator James Orengo to help him fight the bribery tag.

CORD leader Raila Odinga led other opposition leaders and supporters who gathered in the court room in support of the senator.

Wetangula’s political career now hangs in the balance owing to section 24 of the Elections Act that requires any aspiring politician to be a registered voter to be eligible for nomination.

The Special Committee is expected to submit its report to IEBC on January 20, 2016.



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