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VAS

ODM, JAP win ward by-elections in strongholds

POLITICS
By Standard on Sunday Team | June 5th 2016
A resident of Ngobit Ward in Laikipia East casts his ballot at the Shalom Primary School at Makutano Village on June 3,2016 in Laikipia County,during the ward by election,following the death of the former County Rep Ephraim Mwangi Kamakia in December 2015. PHOTO:KIBATA KIHU/STANDARD.

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and the Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP) have won ward by-elections in their strongholds.

ODM retained West Uyoma Ward in Siaya County while JAP won Laikipia’s Ngobit Ward, Lelmokwo/Ngechek Ward in Nandi.

ODM’s Samwel Onyango Olasi, 44, garnered 3,685 votes while his sole challenger, Okuku Santiago of Ford-K, got 1,837 votes of the 5,522 votes cast.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said half of the ward’s 10,564 registered voters turned up to vote.

The outcome of the by-election, occasioned by the death of Mathews Odeny Onduru in December last year, asserted ODM’s dominance in Rarieda Constituency. In the Friday polls, JAP’s Julius Kipkosgei Arusei garnered 3,243 votes to win in Lelmokwo/Ngechek Ward against Ezekiel Kipkorir Lelei (Kanu) who got 2,010. The third candidate, Elphas Kirwa Kimego of Chama Cha Mashinane got 40 votes.

The mini-poll was occasioned by the death of MCA Hesbon Metto, who was also the Deputy Speaker in Nandi County Assembly.

Although Rift Valley political bigwigs kept off the campaigns, Arusei’s victory is seen by local Jubilee supporters as a win for DP William Ruto.

Returning Officer Eunice Maru termed the polls free and fair and commended all the three candidates and their supporters for their peaceful conduct.

And in Laikipia, William Gitonga edged out his closest rival Robert Maina of Party of National Unity (PNU). Gitonga garnered 3,294 votes against Maina’s 3,016. However, the by-election was marred by claims of voter bribery, with each camp accusing the other of election malpractices.

However, the race was seen as a contest between Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, Laikipia East MP Anthony Mutahi and the entire President Uhuru Kenyatta’s camp against former MP Jeremiah Kioni, former Assistant minister Nderitu Mureithi and businessman Simon Mithamo, who is Kiunjuri’s political rival.

PNU put up a brave face all through the by-election. JAP had dispatched heavy political machinery to the ward, including TNA’s Johnson Sakaja, Onyango Oloo and Joseph Mathai who pitched tent to campaign for Gitonga.

Regina Njeri of Chama cha Mwangaza Daima garnered 19 votes while Robert Ruheni of Democratic Party and Independent candidate Joseph Gichuki polled 91 and 44, respectively.

The position fell vacant following the death of Majority Leader Ephraim Mwangi.

There area has 12,315 registered voters but only 6,464 turned up to vote.

—Reports by Isaiah Gwengi, Titus Too, Rael Jelimo, Job Weru and Allan Mungai

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