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Why Charity Ngilu’s name is on the ballot yet she is not running

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu‘s name is appearing on the ballot papers for Governor elections despite her withdrawing from the race early in July.

Governor Ngilu said she notified the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on July 19th to expunge her name from the list of gubernatorial candidates cleared to run.

Mrs Ngilu withdrew from the race on June 15th during a campaign rally addressed by Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga at Mutha market in Kitui South constituency.

Mr Odinga said he will offer the Narc party leader an unspecified position in the government he is seeking to form.

It was the first time in 30 years and seven consecutive elections that Mrs Ngilu wasn’t supposed either vote for herself or participate in a competitive election contest. She first ran for political office in 1992.

“We are taking Mama to Nairobi,” Mr Odinga announced at Mutha Market in Kitui County while campaigning in the region.

“You will now have to choose between (former Kitui governor Julius) Malombe and (former Kitui senator David) Musila who are seeking the governorship,” he Odinga added.

The Governor expressed disappointment that her name and photo may confuse voters and affect the overall outcome of the Kitui governorship election.

“I expected the IEBC to act fast after I notified them in writing. Such mistakes should not have occurred because it will lead to spoilt votes,” Mrs Ngilu said.

She urged her supporters and voters across the county to ignore the commission’s mistake and vote for candidates who didn’t withdraw.

“The people of Kitui know I threw my weight behind the Jubilee Party candidate David Musila and went round campaigning for him, that fact hasn’t changed,” she said.

However, the County Elections coordinator for Kitui Macharia Gichichi said by the time the commission received Mrs Ngilu’s notification of withdrawal from the race, the printing of ballot papers was already underway.

Mr Gichichi said the timeliness for printing ballot papers was strict, and it wasn’t possible to reverse their decision.