Bribery claims, faulty kits mar Ugenya election

IEBC clerks serve voters at Bar Uninge Primary School in Ugenya Constituency yesterday. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]
Former MP David Ochieng opened an early lead in the Ugenya by-election as results started trickling in last night.

Mr Ochieng, a former ODM insider who abandoned the party to join the Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG) party was leading in 12 out of the 112 polling stations whose results had been tallied by the time of going to press.

His challenger, ODM’s Chris Karan had beaten him (Ochieng) in four of the stations.

At Sega Township Primary School that had five streams, Ochieng beat Karan with 923 votes against 723.

But IEBC officials said it was too early to determine who was poised to win as results from several polling stations had not been tallied.

Pockets of violence, alleged voter bribery and faulty kits marred the Ugenya parliamentary by-election yesterday, amid low voter turnout.

The four candidates blamed each other over the malpractice as voting continued late into the afternoon.

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Three people implicated in an attack on a voter were yesterday charged at Ukwala law courts.

Protests over delays in a number of polling centres, claims of planned violence and voter bribery as well as fears of several voters failing to vote rocked the exercise as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) conducted the poll. A spot check by Saturday Standard across a number of polling stations found long queues, with some of the voters thronging the stations as early as 6am when they opened.

Two of the front runners, Karan and Ochieng, took a swipe at the IEBC over delays in opening some stations.

Fake agents

Another candidate, Brian Omondi of Thirdway Alliance, who did not cast his vote because he is a registered voter in Nairobi, accused ODM of planting fake agents in some polling stations to represent him. He termed the move a ploy to rig the poll.

Thirdway Alliance Secretary General Fred Okango issued a statement terming the by-election a fraud.

Okang’o claimed a candidate had faked the party’s letterhead and authored a letter allowing agents into the polling stations.

“There are many people in the polling stations purporting to be our agents. This is fake. Our letterhead has been forged and is being used fraudulently to rig the elections,” he said.

He said the party’s oath of secrecy was also forged.

Omondi and Daniel Juma, of Grand Dream Development Party, also accused Ochieng and Karan of engaging in intimidation and voter bribery. Omondi and Juma threatened to lodge another electionpetition should they lose the election, saying they had strong grounds to challenge the results in court.

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Ugenya by-electionDavid OchiengIEBCBy Election