• Kang'ata was scheduled to be cleared on Monday but was given until Tuesday to present proof that his running mate Winnie Mwangi resigned on time.
• On Tuesday, Kang'ata presented another running-mate, 29-year-old Stephen Mburu Munania, and failed to make the change public until later in the day.
It has emerged that Murang’a governor candidate Irungu Kang’ata was compelled to change his running mate to be cleared by IEBC.
The electoral agency had given him until Tuesday to prove that allegations that his running mate Winnie Mwangi had not resigned on time were false.
Kang'ata appeared before the commission on Tuesday morning, where he submitted the name of another running mate, 29-year-old Stephen Mburu Munania. However, he did not make the change public until later in the day.
Asked whether the allegations against Mwangi had been cleared, Kang’ata failed to answer the question and cleverly led his team away from journalists.
Kang’ata instead trained his salvos at his rivals whom he accused of using someone to write the letter to IEBC to complain over Mwangi’s resignation to block his clearance. But his rivals had lost, he said, as IEBC had cleared him.
Mwangi said the team was law-abiding and professional and would not have engaged in anything that was in breach of the law.
She said her skills as a land administrator would come in handy while serving residents.
Kang’ata’s lawyer Gachii Mwanza also did not mention that the running mate had been changed, instead focusing on the fact that the hitch that had faced the team had been cleared.
It was only late in the day that Kang’ata’s team started releasing posters indicating the running mate had changed from Mwangi to Mburu.
Kang’ata, the current Murang’a senator, also released a statement on his social media in which he unveiled his new running mate.
“The IEBC shared a complaint drafted by a lawyer alleging that our deputy governor failed to resign from the University of Nairobi in due time. We sought time to study the allegations ad return,” the statement read.
“The allegations were incorrect and based on the misunderstanding of employment law. Our view was that resignation takes effect from the date of filing the resignation letter. To aspirants, it takes effect from the date of salary stoppage.”
He said his team took into account that the issue could have been a trap for prolonged litigation that would detract it from its campaigns and mutually agreed to replace the running mate.
Mburu was picked to represent the youth with his experience in public administration expected to help the team manage the devolved unit should they win.
The young man hails from Karega village in Mbugiti, Gatanga subcounty, just a stone's throw away from Mwangi’s Karagia village.
He holds a degree in international diplomacy and has worked as an assistant county commissioner, a position he left to vie for Kariara MCA.
“Winnie Mwangi remains part and parcel of the team. She will continue to offer her services as an expert in land matters,” Kang’ata said.
Mwangi was expected to help Kang’ata resolve the many land issues in the county and had pledged to make her the Lands executive so she wouldn't be a flower girl deputy.
She was also expected to rally women voters. Two other candidates, Jamleck Kamau (Jubilee) and Irungu Nyakera (The Farmers’ Party) have chosen women.
Other candidates, Wairagu Wa Maai (DP), Joseph Mbai (Usawa Kwa Wote), Henry Gaate (independent) and Moses Mwangi (Safina Party) chose male running mates.
Edited by A.N