By Jude Titus
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries commission [IEBC] has finally cleared ODM’S Willy Baraka Mtengo to vie for Malindi Member of Parliament amid claims that he forged his academic papers in order to have an easy way out.
‘‘We are treating the issue as a mere rumour. If he has issues of integrity he should be probed by the EACC and the Education ministry,’’ said Stephen Karani, IEBC Presiding officer.
The presiding officer while addressing Journalists on Monday said there was no substantive evidence to prove that the ODM candidate forged the academic papers hence the decision. He said that Baraka Mtengo has all the relevant certificates and documents to vie for the seat that was left vacant following the appointment of Dan Kazungu as Cabinet Secretary to the Mining docket.
Mtengo had earlier denied reports that he had forged his credentials and termed them as ‘cheap propaganda and gossip’ He also said the people spreading the claims only fear outright defeat in the by-election.
Labour Party’s Attas Shariff was also cleared and given a go ahead by the election body to contest for the seat in the by-election set for March 7th.
Mtengo was also accompanied by Kilifi Governor, Amason Kingi and Mombasa Governor, Ali Hassan Joho to receive his certificate from IEBC. Kingi oozed confidence the ODM party will undisputedly win the Malindi seat.
‘‘The Malindi by-election is a good litmus test for both Jubilee and CORD alliances but Willy Mtengo will win the seat by a landslide,’’ Kingi attested.
Ali Hassan Joho on the other hand also expressed confidence saying that they embarrass President Kenyatta and the Jubilee candidate to prove that Kenyans are tired with a corrupt government.
Mtengo, a businessman, formerly worked with the Kenya Ports authority before resigning and ventured into private business. Mr. Willy Mtengo beat Mr. Saanga Barawa who emerged second in the nomination and was named as ODM’s candidate by the party’s National Elections Board [NEB] chairperson Judith Pareno.
He will battle it out with Jubilee’s candidate Philip Charo in the much awaited March 7th by-election.