Kitui senatorial aspirant Elijah Muimi Kilonzi has been forced to shed his famous political nickname “Ikonge” after it emerged he could not use it on the ballot papers come the August 8th General Election due to legal reasons.
Mr Kilonzi learned of the unforeseen and unexpected development today when he went to submit his IEBC nomination papers to Kitui County Returning Officer Gogo Nguma at Kefri Centre.
Speaking to journalists after he was officially cleared to contest for the Senate seat, Kilonzi said the electoral body barred him from using the nickname since it wasn’t among his officials names as reflected on his national ID card.
He said it then dawned on him that he should have sworn an affidavit to officially adopt the nickname so that it could appear on the ballot papers.
In an attempt to forestall possible confusion during the actual vote casting, the aspirant advised his supporters not to look out for the name “Ikonge” because only “Elijah Muimi Kilonzi” will be used on the senators’ ballot papers.
Dropping the nickname, by which he is widely known will most likely rob him of many votes because there majority of his supporters only know him by the nickname.
In the 2013 national polls, Mr Kilonzi unsuccessfully contested for the same seat. He came third as Senator David Musila emerged winner followed closely by former lands CS Charity Ngilu.