An “animal war” ensued today as one of the four presidential aspirants who had an appointment with the electoral body at KICC had their nomination papers rejected while two more were added to the list to take the total to 10.
The ‘fringe’ candidates battling for the top seat alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta and his main challenger Raila Odinga — whose rivalry has seen the presidential election widely described as a “two-horse race”— attempted to describe themselves as the better animal, one that they said would beat the so-called horses.
“We have removed this thing of horses,” Thirdway Alliance candidate Dr Ekuru Aukot, accompanied by his running mate Emmanuel Nzai, said.
“Kenya does not need a sprint; it needs a marathon. We are the camel, which will win the marathon.”
Former Cooperatives minister Joe Nyagah termed himself an ostrich — which is what his Kiembu name means.
He said: “I am an ostrich, which is twice as fast as a horse. I am very confident of winning this thing, by the way.”
An independent aspirant, Mr Nyagah’s papers were, however, rejected and he was asked to comply by tomorrow.
He had presented a cheque for Sh250,000 instead of Sh200,000, besides having not submitted a letter confirming the physical address of his office and failure to present his running mate’s signed code of conduct.
Independent candidates must establish and maintain a functioning office, whose physical address must be given to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) prior to getting clearance to run for office.
The papers of Mr Mohamed Abduba Dida of Alliance for Real Change were also initially rejected.
He had presented uncertified copies of academic certificates while his running mate Titus Ng’etuny’s code of conduct was not sworn before a commissioner for oaths.
Mr Dida was cleared when he returned two hours later after rectifying what IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati, the presidential elections returning officer, had asked him to put right.
Dr Aukot, who was a member of the Committee of Experts, which drafted the 2010 Constitution, was the first to be cleared by the IEBC.
Having arrived an hour before his 9.15am appointment, he was through by 9.30am.
Promising “fresh leadership”, he exuded confidence that he would beat President Kenyatta.
Meanwhile, the IEBC added Dr Japhet Kaluyu and Mr Erastus Masira to the list of presidential candidates, up from the eight it published on Saturday.
That followed a court ruling that waived the requirement for an independent candidate to get a minimum of 2,000 signatures from at least 24 counties, totalling 48,000, from voters who are not members of a political party.