The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has cleared former Marakwet East MP Linah Jebii Kilimo to defend the seat on an independent ticket during the August 8, General Election.
Addressing her supporters at Chesoi trading center after receiving her certificate of clearance, Mrs. Kilimo said she bowed to pressure from the constituents who have been urging her to vie as an independent candidate claiming that the recent Jubilee Party’s primaries in the area were marred with a lot of irregularities.
“Majority of voters had asked me to vie as an independent candidate immediately results of Jubilee Party nominations were announced because what happened in Marakwet East Jubilee Party primaries was a sham exercise,” said Mrs. Kilimo.
“People are yearning for my leadership because of my good development track record when I served as their MP between 2003-2012,” she added.
Mrs. Kilimo during her reign as Marakwet East MP led a spirited campaign to end banditry and cattle rustling incidents between members of Pokot and Marakwet communities as well as addressing the problems of unemployment and ensuring improvement of roads in the area.
The former Cabinet Minister who lost in the recent Jubilee Party primaries to the incumbent Kangogo Bowen said she was optimistic that IEBC will carry out free, fair and credible elections that will reflect the wishes of the people.
Mrs. Kilimo said it was unbelievable that many names of people most of whom were her supporters and who voted during the 2013 General Election were not in the Jubilee Party register that was used during the nomination exercise but have since found their names in the current IEBC register.
“It seems there was a deliberate and ill-motive move by the Jubilee Party officials to remove names of people from certain ages from the register in almost every polling station in the area. Many people including all my relatives from the age of 40 failed to vote in various polling stations because their names were not in the register despite voting in 2013,” said Mrs. Kilimo.
She urged voters in the area to elect leaders who focus their energies on development matters instead of engaging in unnecessary politics that will not add value to their day-to-day lives.
Mrs. Kilimo said the area is faced with a myriad of challenges that will only be tackled if residents elected leaders who have their interest at heart adding that leaders should be judged by their development records and not on clan basis.
“We should judge someone before being elected on what she or he has done for us. This is why it is time we review the performance of those we elected during the last election,” said Mrs. Kilimo.
She noted that it was the duty of every citizen to put their leaders in check by ensuring that they delivered on their promises.
“Voters are mature politically who can differentiate between leaders who deliver and those who engage in empty rhetoric,” she said.
Mrs. Kilimo emphasized on the need for residents in the area to elect leaders who are committed to peace and development at both at the county and national level.
She urged the residents in the area to shun leaders who want to divide them on clan basis and instead support those who are serious in matters pertaining to development.