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MPs read mischief in NCIC summons over election chaos

By Moses Nyamori | March 9th 2021

Kasipul MP Ong’ondo Were when he appeared before NCIC in Nairobi yesterday. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

MPs accused of orchestrating chaos in the recently concluded by-elections have accused certain quarters of using the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to settle political scores.

Some lawmakers who appeared before the commission yesterday claimed that it was under pressure to target certain political leaders.

The leaders threatened to sue NCIC for linking them to the chaos without presenting proof.

MPs Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini), Charles Ong'ondo (Kasipul), Fred Kapondi (Mt Elgon), Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East), Millicent Omanga (Nominated), John Waluke (Sirisia) and Feisal Bader (Msambweni) appeared before NCIC for grilling yesterday.

They are among 10 lawmakers so far summoned by NCIC for allegedly having a hand in the violence witnessed in the Matungu and Kabuchai parliamentary by-elections on March 4.

Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga failed to honour the invitation and instead took to social media to hit out at the commission for allegedly trying to cover up the real perpetrators of the chaos and electoral offences.

"At face value, these invitations appear choreographed to cover up for those who committed electoral offences, including physical assault of IEBC officials," said Wanga.

Omanga, Washiali and Bader stormed one of the offices demanding to meet NCIC Chairman Samuel Kobia. The three leaders protested at being kept waiting for more than two hours. They were later grilled by an investigator who recorded statements from them separately.

Washiali and Ong'ondo declined to record statements, demanding the involvement of their lawyers. They also demanded to be told the specific offences they are accused of committing.

The Mumias East MP said he would return to the commission today to go through the statement with his lawyer before signing it.

“I don't know if this is what I was told is deep state, but it seems so shallow to the extent that some things they are doing openly show there's bias in this matter,” he said.

The commission, through its head of legal Kyalo Mwengi, denied accusations of being an appendage of the Executive. He said there were 35 complainants and more politicians would be summoned.

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa and Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala are lined up for grilling on Thursday and Wednesday, respectively.

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