By: Harun Salat
MANDERA—Barely two weeks after the speaker of the National Assembly Moses Wetangula declared Banisa Constituency seat vacant, a rush to replace the late legislator is gaining momentum.
This comes less than a month following the death of Kullow Maalim Hassan who was serving his second term as the area MP.
Wetangula made the announcement on 18th April, paving the way for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to announce a date for the by-election in the area within 90 days.
“Pursuant to Articles 101 (4) (a) and 103 (1) (a) of the Constitution as read with section 16 (3) of the Elections Act, 2011, it is notified for the general information of the public that the seat of the member of the National Assembly for Banissa Constituency elected under Article 97 (1) (a) of the Constitution has become vacant with effect from the 29th March 2023,” the April 20 Gazette notice states.
The constitution mandates the Speaker to issue writs declaring a vacancy in a constituency within 21 days of the occurrence of a vacancy by giving a notice in writing to IEBC.
Kullow passed on the 29th of March while receiving treatment days after he was hit by a motorcycle in South C, Nairobi. The bodaboda rider who hit the late MP was arrested three days after the incident.
Appearing before Milimani magistrate Esther Kimilu Philip, the rider denied four traffic-related offences: causing death by dangerous driving, failing to report an accident, riding a cycle vehicle without a licence, failure to carry a driving licence and failure to stop after being involved in a road accident.
In the last election, Kullow Maalim Hassan who was first elected in 2017, contested on an UDM ticket against Noordin Adan Enow (Jubilee) and Adan Mohamed Abdullahi (ODM).
With Ali Roba’s UDM Party joining President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza camp, this will be a new field for political parties and leaders to flex their muscles.
On the other hand, clan arrangements known as Negotiated Democracy is ongoing. So far, Barre Maalim Hassan, the younger brother of the late legislator, has already been fronted as a successor with other contestants believed to be putting their numbers together behind the scenes.