ANC redeems face in Matungu victory

ANC candidate Peter Nabulindo has won the Matungu by-election.

Nabulindo garnered 14,257 votes, trouncing his closest challenger, David Were of Orange Democratic Movement, who got 10,565 votes.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Returning Officer John Kirui declared Nabulindo the winner of the hotly contested by-election.

Third in the race to replace the late MP Justus Murunga was United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate Alex Lanya who garnered 5,513 votes.

A total of 33,318 voters out of the 62,386 registered voters turned out to vote, reflecting a 54.2 percentage.

The poll was considered a three-horse race between ANC, UDA and ODM.

Other candidates in the race like Charles Kasamani (United Democratic Party) had 143, Paul Achayo (Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG) 139 and Faida Auma (Maendeleo Chap Chap) 257.

Independent candidates were Christabel Murunga with 427, Eugene Murunga 94,  Gregory Atoko 115, Kevin Nectus 18, Wilberforce Lutta 94, Athman Wangara 248, Anzelimo Kongoti 41 and Samuel Munyekenye 324.

In his acceptance speech, Nabulindo thanked the voters for believing that he could finish up the term from Murunga.

Matungu MP-elect Peter Nabulindo after he was declared winner at the Bulindo Primary School tallying centre on March 5, 2021. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard].

He said he will finish up the projects that had been initiated by the late MP.

"It's time to take on the project that Murunga left and after that we embark on ours," said Nabulindo.

He also extended an olive branch to his opponents, promising to work with them.

Nabulindo's supporters had camped outside the tallying centre, singing and dancing, awaiting the MP-elect.

On the voting day, the by-election had been rocked by chaos and bribery claims over alleged election malpractices.

On Thursday former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa slapped a presiding officer at Ebulonga polling station.

Echesa claimed Peter Okuro the presiding officer had blocked their party agents from the polling station.

ODM agents were also beaten and injured by rival supporters after they found them with campaigning material and money inside a polling station.

The by-election in Matungu had put to test the political might of ANC Musalia Mudavadi against ODM leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto.

During the two-month-long campaigns in the constituency, Nabulindo was projected the ‘Luhya unity’ aspirants after enjoying the backing of Musalia and Ford-Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula.

Moments after Nabulindo was declared the winner he was joined by his party leader.

Mudavadi relished the win, terming it a statement to the nation about his 2022 presidential ambition.

"Today is a great day for the people of Matungu and the entire Western Kenya, and the journey to the leadership of this nation and State House has started," Musalia said.

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