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Citizen Weekly

Thursday, 19 March 2015

NAIROBI MCAs VOTED IN KAJIADO: CLAIMS JAP

This week’s Kajiado Central by-election yesterday became the theme of heated and intriguing debate when Jubilee legislators sensationally claimed some Members of the Nairobi County Assembly and individuals had participated in the just concluded exercise.
According to Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko and Kajiado North MP Moses ole Sakuda, the MCAs and individuals were allowed to vote in the by-election despite not being registered voters in the constituency. Consequently, the Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP) candidate Patrick Tutui, who lost therace has threatened to move to court to challenge the victory of Memusi Kanchory as the area MP.
Tutui alleged that some Nairobi MCAs allied to ODM party participated in the elections. Pictures said to have been taken during the voting on Monday and which were yesterday being circulated on social media, appeared to show some MCAs queuing and others purporting to cast votes.
JAP leaders claim the breach was committed at Bisil polling station. However, those in the know of electoral procedure were last evening skeptical about the claims, particularly on why the individuals who  had taken the pictures did not raise the alleged anomalies with the presiding, returning and police officers at the station.
Similarly, apart from the pictures, the JAP leaders have not said whether the agents were aware and whether there were any discrepancies in the number of registered voters in that polling station and those who had voted.
One of the individuals captured in one of the pictures, a Mr Rex Omole, told the People Daily they; “were only posing for pictures before and after voting.” “We didn’t expect it to cause such an uproar or to be such serious issue. We were only posing for pictures, but did not vote,” Omole said. The heat was generated on a day Memusi was formally sworn in Parliament as MP for Kajiado Central.
Reached for comment, IEBC chair Issack Hassan confirmed some Jubilee legislators had called him to complain over the issue. “Some Jubilee MPs called me to find out about the issue, but I advised them to do it formally.
We shall investigate the matter once they do it.” He, however, was categorical that it is criminal for anybody to vote in any area he or she is not a registered voter as well as to be allowed to do so.
He, also, warned that it is  criminal for an individual to pose for photograph in any polling station before, during or after voting. “Even the IEBC official who allows that to happen has committed an offence and would be prosecuted.
It is also criminal for anybody, other than an accredited journalist to take pictures in any polling station,” said Hassan.  Earlier, IEBC spokesperson Tabitha Mutemi had said the pictures could not be verified and implied they could be “a political propaganda.”
And two of the women seen in the photos, Knight Medza and Clara Mayaka, dissociated themselves from the issue and threatened to take action against individuals circulating their images on social media.
Speaking to the People Daily by phone last evening, Medza said: “In the first place how does one vote in an area he or she is not a registered voter? As far as I am concerned, I am a registered voter in Embakasi East .”
On her part, Mayaka insisted  she has been on a sick off since last week and has not left Nairobi. “In fact, you are the second person from the media to call me on the issue, but I can assure you on Monday I was not anywhere near Kajiado.
I was indoors throughout,” said Mayaka. ODM retained the Kajiado Central seat, after its candidate Memusi emerged victorious in a neck-and-neck by-election. He garnered 16,008 votes against JAP’s Tutui (15, 508) while Kuntai Nkashuma who ran as an independent came in a distant third with 100 votes. Memusi, who turned 38 the same Monday, de-camped to ODM after losing to Tutui in JAP nominations.
The seat fell vacant last December following the appointment of former MP Joseph Nkaissery as the Cabinet Secretary for the Interior. The Kajiado Central by-election  was closely contested affair with high stakes for both President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto who have declared the party would be the vehicle for their re-election bid in 2017.
But being an ODM seat and the only one they held in the wider Maasai land, it was also critical for Cord leadership. Thus the victory by Memusi  was seen as providing momentum to Cord whose  top leadership  promptly dashed to the constituency to thank voters.
“We  thank the people of Kajiado for voting for Memusi. We urge you to stand with ODM. This is a big win for the Opposition and it is now clear that we have revived the party, ready for take-off in 2017,”  Raila saidin a rally to celebrate the victory.
On the other hand, leaders in JAP are still  in deep reflection after failing to wrest the seat from ODM with Marakwet East MP Kangogo Bowen (URP) calling the defeat a wake-up call for JAP.