Kiambaa: Jubilee demands recount of votes in 3 polling stations, claims rigging in UDA favour

Jubilee Party candidate in Kiambaa by-election, Njama Kariri, protesting election results at Karuri High School. [Emmanuel Too, Standard]

The Jubilee Party electoral agents in the Kiambaa by-election alleged vote-rigging Friday morning, with two out of 154 polling station results left.

The provisional results showed United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate John Njuguna Wanjiku ahead of Jubilee’s Njama Karanja Kariri by 244 votes.

Out of the 152 polling stations reporting, Njuguna had 21,301 votes while Kariri had 21,057 votes.

Kariri’s team at the tallying centre alleged votes in the last three polling stations – Gachie, Mucatha and Kawaida – were being tilted in favour of Njuguna.

As a result, Kariri demanded a recount of the votes, saying he won’t accept the election outcome if the recount won’t be conducted.

A heated stand-off ensued when results from 151 stations showed Njuguna in the lead, resulting in a tallying delay. Three stations were yet to report results at the time.

The Returning Officer at the main tallying centre at Karuri High School, Peter Muigai, had a difficult time controlling the opposing sides.

Muigai, however, admitted an error in vote tallying, pledging to conduct a recount.

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria faulted Jubilee Party electoral agents for protesting the results, saying it was ridiculous for a ruling party to refuse to concede defeat.

“For the second by-election in a row, the ruling party is rioting and refusing to accept defeat in Kiambaa,” Kuria said on Facebook Friday morning.

At 6am, the returning officer announced indefinite suspension of vote-tallying after chaos mounted over the disputed election results.

The valid votes counted as of the time of publishing this story, were 42,611, representing a voter turn-out of 44.79 per cent. Kiambaa has 96,020 registered voters.