November 25th 2017

Magazine / Gender Matters

IEBC investigating electoral offences being meted on women candidates, Chebukati says

In Kenyan constitution, anyone irrespective of the gender is allowed to run a government office as far as he/she has attained the requirements needed

By Mary Muthonimmuthoni@kenyafreepress.comThursday, 22 Jun 2017 12:49 EAT

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission in investigating cases of women aspirants being harassed or intimidated by their male counterparts or their supporters.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati has in the meantime requested women candidates vying for various seats to bring to the attention of the commission any electoral offences meted on them warning the culprits the law will not be merciful to the suspects.

 “As a woman candidate, do not just sit back when you feel that your right for vying any seat has been infringed on, report to us and action will be taken instantly, “Wafula explained.

He said security of women candidates is to be enhanced as IEBC sent out a stern warning to male political rivals and their supporters against harassing their women opponents during this campaign period.

He spoke in Nairobi during a meeting of women candidates vying for various political seats in the General elections where he urged women candidates to report any kind of harassment during campaigns so that action can be taken against the perpetrators of violence.

Some women in Embu complained of receiving harassment on social media from their rivals. This made Wabukati to make the warning against those who are creating fear to women candidates. Mr. Chebukati said that the commission promise to women candidates is that they will cater for them without discrimination.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery has promised that women candidates’ security will be improved until the campaigns are over. He added that he comprehended that women are in a higher risk compared to men candidates. He told women to lend a hand to one another in order to acquire more seats.

Susan Nyagah, who is vying on a Kanu ticket for women representative seat in Embu explained that they are being bullied because of their gender thus making it hard for them to conduct their campaigns peacefully and successfully.

Most women drawn from different parts of the country who spoke during the forum, said that they face many forms of harassment such as political thuggery and intimidation without as well as sexual bullying which deter them from fruitful campaigning. Millie Odhiambo, Mbita Member of Parliament gave an incident whereby her body guard was, murdered during her party’s primaries.

In Kenyan constitution, anyone irrespective of the gender is allowed to run a government office as far as he/she has attained the requirements needed.

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