Gachagua, Jumwa among 25 aspirants flagged by lobby as unfit to vie

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A lobby group has named 25 politicians they believe should be barred from the August 9 elections.

The aspirants have been red-carded by the National Integrity Alliance because they are facing corruption and other criminal cases in court.

Among the big names is Mathira MP and Kenya Kwanza Alliance’s presidential running mate, Rigathi Gachagua.

“According to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), he is implicated in graft resulting in action by the Assets and Recovery Authority freezing accounts with approximately Sh200 million in unexplained assets,” said the Alliance.

Gachagua has been charged with conspiracy to defraud Nyeri County and fraudulent acquisition of public property.

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa,  who is eyeing Kilifi’s governor seat, was also named on the list.

The alliance cited her murder charge as ground of their petition to have her barred.

Jumwa was implicated in the murder of Gumbao Jola during campaigns for the Ganda Ward by-election in 2019 in Malindi County.

“A statement by the ODPP on August 27, 2020, also said she was charged with fraudulent misappropriation of Sh57 million from NGCDF Malindi Constituency but the matter was suspended to allow her to campaign,” the Alliance said.

Former KEMSA chair Kembi Gitura who is vying for the Muranga Senator seat has also been red-carded for the agency’s infamous scandal over Covid-19 funds.

“The National Assembly recommended that EACC investigates into his alleged interference on the award of commitment letters to certain companies,” they said.

The Alliance explains that the individuals have been Red Carded after an objective and impartial investigation.

“It includes information gathered from existing reports by oversight institutions including, the Office of the Auditor General(OAG), Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), Parliament, various cases before the courts both concluded and active,” they said.

In 2017, over 20 aspirants were also red-carded by the Alliance, some of them appearing in the 2022 list yet again.

Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru who is running for a second term, appeared on the list a second time, having allegedly engaged in acts of abuse of office and embezzlement of public funds amounting to Sh10,634,614 through payment of travel allowances for non-existent trips.

“Waiguru was impeached by the county assembly of Kirinyaga but her impeachment was nullified by Senate. However, the Senate report implicated her in several offences,” they said.

Former Nairobi governors Evans Kidero and Mike Sonko also appeared on the list a second time, the latter being impeached from office and the former facing graft charges.

“Kapseret Member of Parliament aspirant Oscar Sudi has appeared on the list for a second time for Forgery of official documents and intentionally providing false information,” they explain.

The Alliance said that in the coming polls, Kenyans are at risk of electing to public office individuals who are in breach of the leadership and integrity tenets as enshrined in Chapter 6 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

“The cost of electing such leaders is borne by citizens through broken promises to provide effective public services like witnessed recently when we experienced a surge in the cost of living due to rising food and fuel prices in the country,” they said.

They said that beginning next week, they would launch an online petition on change.org to ask the public to sign the petition which will present together with the list of Red Carded individuals to the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

“In case these corrupt and unethical political aspirants sieve through the vetting institutions, we call on voters to reject them at the ballot,” they said.

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