Jubilee, ODM trade barbs as Kibra race gains momentum

Monday, October 14th, 2019 09:00 |
Jubilee candidate in the Kibra by-election McDonald Mariga addresses a rally at Laini Saba last month. Photo/PD/Kenna Claude

By Bernard Gitau, Alvin Mwangi and Sophie Njoka 

A section of Jubilee Party legislators have called on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to investigate and possibly disqualify ODM candidate for the Kibra parliamentary seat over violence against their candidate.

Nixon Korir (Lang’ata), Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Charles Njagua (Starehe) and Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira) accused ODM of engaging in violence in the run-up to the November 7 by-election.

Korir urged IEBC to take stern action against ODM and its candidate, Imran Okoth, for violating the Elections Act and the electoral code of conduct by inciting youths to attack Jubilee candidate McDonald Mariga.

 “We are going to write to IEBC over ODM’s conduct and they should disqualify Imran for electoral malpractice. We are not going to be intimidated by their threats,” he said.

 On Saturday, Mariga’s convoy was attacked by a group of youths but later held a rally at Bukhungu stadium in Kibra.

“It is shameful that youths were used to attack Mariga in a bid to intimidate him from pursuing his political ambitions,” he said.

 The MPs were speaking yesterday at Emmanuel PCEA Church Makina, where police officers were forced to fire in the air to disperse rowdy youths gathering outside the church compound.

Fierce battle

 Icung’wa condemned the violence, adding that it was an indication that ODM were conceding defeat.

But ODM yesterday distanced itself from the incident saying Jubilee were using violence and propaganda to scuttle the Orange Party’s efforts to retain the Kibra seat.

Speaking at DC Grounds, Suna East MP Junet Mohammed, who is also the director of elections, dismissed the claims telling Jubilee be ready for a fierce battle in the by-elections. 

Junet also asked IEBC to conduct speedy investigations into claims of massive voter bribery and a plot to rig the elections.

“Voter bribery is a crime. Taking bribe is also a crime. We are peaceful people but we will not allow provocation,” he said.

Similar sentiment were echoed by Imran who warned IEBC against being used by Jubilee to rig the election..

During the Saturday rally, Mariga called for political tolerance urging his opponents to apply the law of fair-play instead of resulting to violence.

“We have been attacked in our campaign but I choose to forgive those who did that. I want to call upon the youth to stop being used by rogue politicians because violence and crime does not pay, it leads to jail,” he said.

Free and fair elections

 Other leaders who joined Mariga at the church service where Sh500,000 was raised in support of development projects are Gichimu Githinji (Gichugu), James Gakuya (Embakasi North) and Woodley MP Mwangi Njihia.

Meanwhile, Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa has called on IEBC to conduct free and fair elections in the forthcoming Ganda ward polls set for October 17.

Addressing supporters during a rally at Msabaha Grounds on Saturday in support of independent candidate Adulrahman Omar, Jumwa claimed ODM were planning to cause chaos during the exercise.

Jumwa was accompanied by MCAs Maitha Masha (Jaribuni) and Tom Chengo (Tezo).

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