Tuesday's disqualification of McDonald Mariga could raise fundamental questions within Deputy President William Ruto's camp.
Barely hours after receiving Jubilee nomination certificate to contest in Kibra by-election race, footballer McDonald Mariga was disqualified on grounds that he's not a registered voter.
From the onset, Jubilee was reluctant to field a candidate but the party succumbed to Ruto's pressure, fielding Mr Mariga as a formidable competitor given already his trademark in football.
And now, Dr Ruto, a shrewd politician who has had a tremendous political career, will have to go to drawing board urgently to rescue his plans for Kibra.
Questions would be asked as to why Dr Ruto and his team could not establish the eligibility of the former Intermilan midfielder before fronting his name.
Even with the presence of his allies like Boni Khalwale and Caleb Kositany, his team was unable to detect the anomaly that now throws him off balance in a battle he was yearning for against Mr Raila Odinga.
For one to be eligible to contest as MP, he must fulfil many requirements, among others, being a registered voter, not necessarily in the electoral area.
The DP, now probably beaten in preliminary stage, well perhaps have to field an alternative candidate or even contest IEBC's finding should Mariga insist that he registered.
This is not the first case though. In 2013, Wiper party was forced to field Mutula Kilonzo Jr at the dying minutes for Makueni senatorial seat, after the death of Mutula Kilonzo.
Initially, the party had chosen Kethi Kilonzo, a sister to junior, before it emerged that she was not a registered voter. Even though she contested, IEBC had it's way.
“I hereby order that Kethi Kilonzo’s nomination certificate be and is hereby revoked. I order the third respondent (IEBC) to commence investigation to determine how the slip was issued,” tribunal chairman Thomas Letangule ruled then.
“The tribunal finds that Prof Kaloki was validly nominated,” Mr Letangule said. Other members of the tribunal were IEBC commissioners Mohamed Alawi and Yusuf Nzibo said then.
How Dr Ruto made the blunder remains a question that can be best answered by him and his handlers. He will now have to start from scratch in Kibra.
On the contrary, his main competitor, Raila Odinga, who is under pressure to have ODM retaining the seat, unveiled Imra Okoth as candidate on Tuesday.
Mariga spent most of his time in Europe, playing for Inter Milan and Purma, and he may have not probably voted despite being a Jubilee member.