Bishop Wanjiru disowns poll-rigging remark

Busia

By Wahome Thuku and Maureen Mudi

A statement that Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru made during the 2007 General Election has returned to haunt her.

Bishop Wanjiru told a television crew on December 28, 2007 that the elections were rigged and she was demanding a repeat.

Wanjiru, the leader of Jesus is Alive Ministries, gave the interview outside Kenyatta International Conference Centre where she had gone to complain to the Electoral Commission of Kenya. But she denied making the remarks, until the video clip was played in court.

The footage was played when she was being cross-examined by lawyer Kioko Kilukumi in an election petition filed by former MP Maina Kamanda.

The MP asked for a replay and it was run three times before presiding judge Kihara Kariuki.

She was recorded telling reporters: "There has been rigging since yesterday (December 27) and even today by the ECK officials. What we are calling for is nothing short of a repeat."

She said if the elections were repeated and she lost fairly, she would shake Kamanda’s hand.

Wanjiru identified herself and her voice in the clip. She was dressed in a pair of jeans and a black jacket.

Cut and paste

But she maintained she never called for a repeat of elections in Starehe and never doubted the outcome adding that the clip may have been edited.

"This is edited material, involving cutting here and pasting there," she told the court.

She said she did not talk about parliamentary elections and it could not be ascertained when the footage was recorded.

The bishop will be cross-examined further on Tuesday next week.

And Transport Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere admitted that there was a discrepancy of 500 votes during the 2007 General Election.

The Matuga MP made the admission while he was being cross-examined by lawyer Mohammed Balala, in the petition filed against him by Ayub Juma Mwakesi.

"I cannot be in a position to explain how the error came about, but it was there," he said.

Mr Mwakwere was put on the spot as he tried to use annexure to justify some figures, but Mr Balala objected over the same.