Kuria, Omingo allege plot to rig Juja and Bonchari polls

Thursday, May 13th, 2021 00:00 |
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria. Photo/Courtesy

Oliver Musembi and Robert Osoro

Rigging claims have emerged ahead of the May 18 by-elections in Juja and Bonchari constituencies.

In Juja, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, who is backing George Koimburi of the People’s Empowerment Party, claims there were plans to buy votes and introduce extra ballot boxes with marked ballots.

“There is risk of voters not registered in Juja being issued with ballot papers as no agent is allowed in the BVR/Voter Register verification area where the ballots are issued,” he said in a statement.

Kuria (pictured) also said Mungiki sect members were likely to cause violence to suppress the turnout.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has, however, dismissed the allegations, which the returning officer Justus Mbithi has termed as alarmist.

“The by-election will be free and fair and all the voters will have a chance to elect a candidate of their choice,” said Mbithi.

In Bonchari, Kisii county, leaders campaigning for  United Democratic Alliance candidate Teresa Bitutu Oroo have accused security officers of intimidating her supporters.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Omingo Magara said the police arrested two people who were campaigning for her.

“The government wants to impose a leader on the Bonchari people,” he told the press yesterday.

Magara said no amount of intimidation would stop Bitutu’s victory.

Bitutu is the widow of John Oroo Oyioka, whose death occasioned the by-election.

Other candidates in the race are Pavel Oimeke (ODM) and Zebedeo Opore (Jubilee).

In Juja, Jubilee is confident of retaining the seat that fell vacant following the death of Francis Munyua Waititu.

Eleven candidates, including the late MP’s widow Susan Njeri, are competing in the race. Njeri is flying the Jubilee flag.

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