Maina says his symbol is a weave with human hair.

A video recording of Maina Kageni that has gone viral on social media in which the radio host announces he will be vying for the seat of Woman Representative in Nairobi as an independent candidate has sent tongues wagging in town. [Watch video below]

In the “announcement” which Business Today has not independently authenticated, Maina says he has already been issued with a certificate by the registrar of political parties and the IEBC has, in fact, cleared him to run for a seat constitutionally reserved for women.

Is it a hoax or real? That’s the question many social media users are asking as they await official communication from either Maina himself, his employer Radio Africa or the IEBC.

The fact that Radio Africa media outlets, including the Star, have shied away from the developing story could be an indication that the video could be a tease by the radio presenter to increase his popularity.

“Not sure but it could be a promo,” said a Radio Africa Group insider who was also baffled by the video announcement.

Maina says his symbol is a weave with human hair. He even displays clearance certificates from the IEBC and Registrar of Political Parties. The video shows branded mics of Citizen TV, KTN, K24 and Capital FM covering the announcement, though the venue is not clear.

He also made the announcement on Wednesday through his Instagram account, in what he terms as ‘Liberating Nairobi Women’, his slogan.

“It’s now no longer a secret. I’ll be on the ballot and my symbol is a smart weave (made of 100% human hair). Nairobi women deserve to have the very best! Come out and vote in large numbers,” wrote Maina on his IG account.

If indeed he is contesting Maina, described on his Classic FM morning show as the “women representative”, will have broken ranks with gender stereotyping of the seat, which could set off legal debate on the issue and litigation based on Article 97 of the constitution that specifies the holder of the position to be a woman. He will take on Esther Passaris and Racheal Shebesh, among other candidates.

What the law says about Women Rep

In Article 97 of the Constitution the position of women representative is created for every county, and should be held by a woman. It stipulates in section (1) (b) that the membership of the National Assembly consists of forty-seven women, each elected by the registered voters of the counties, each county constituting a single member constituency.

However, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) qualification for Women Representatives are the same as for a Member of Parliament, which do not specify whether a candidate should be male or female. To IEBC, a Women Representative is equal to an MP.

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The IEBC requirements state that for one to be a Women Representative, s/he should meet the following:

  • Must have been a Kenyan citizen for at least 10 years before the election
  • Must not hold allegiance to a foreign state
  • Must be a registered voter
  • Is nominated by a Political Party or is an independent candidate
  • Must meet the statutory moral and ethical requirements under the Leadership and Integrity Act
  • Must not be a public officer or acting in any State of public office other than a Member of Parliament
  • Must not hold dual citizenship unless citizenship of the other country has been obtained by operation of law without capacity to opt out
  • Must not be an undischarged bankrupt
  • Must not be a person of unsound mind
  • Must not be subject to a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months from the date of registration of candidates or date of elections
  • Must not have been found to have abused or misused state or public office or contravened Chapter Six of the Constitution; and
  • Must not have been dismissed or removed from public office for contravening the provisions of Articles 75, 76, 77 and 78 of the Constitution
  • Nomination fees in a Banker’s Cheque payable to IEBC (Ksh20,000 for candidates and Ksh10,000 for a candidate who is a youth, a woman or a person with a disability)

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