Wednesday, February 16, 2011

PNU’s Gitari wins Kirinyaga poll

PNU candidate Joseph Gitari. Photo/FILE

PNU candidate Joseph Gitari. Photo/FILE 

By PATRICK NZIOKA pnzioka@ke.nationmedia.com and GEORGE MUNENE gamunene@yahoo.com

Party of National Unity candidate Joseph Gitari won the Kirinyaga Central by-election on Wednesday after garnering 18,520 votes.

Mr Daniel Karaba of Narc Kenya was second with 16,681 votes followed by Mr Henry Mwaniki of DP (1,406) votes and Ms Beth Ngunyi of KNC (982).

SDP’s Peter Ngari followed with 384 votes, Duncan Mwai of PPK (178) and Mr Samuel Njeru of Ford Kenya (102).

The constituency had 56,628 registered voters.

The PNU win is a major boost for Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, who has been engaged in a supremacy war with Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua.

During by-elections held in Juja and Makadara in September last year, Narc Kenya candidates William Kabogo and Gideon Kioko Mbuvi won, dealing a major political blow to Mr Kenyatta’s PNU.

Starehe seat was won by Bishop Margaret Wanjiru of ODM who beat PNU’s Maina Kamanda.

Mr Kabogo garnered 45,020 votes against closest rival Alice Ng’ang’a with 24,326 and former MP George Thuo, who got 19,366 votes.

In Makadara, Mr Mbuvi had 19,913 against ODM Reuben Ndolo with 17,652 and PNU’s Dick Wathika with 11,088 votes.

Bishop Wanjiru got 29,287 votes against Mr Kamanda’s 25,416.

Voting began in Kirinyaga Central without any hitches, although there were accusations of vote-buying by two major contenders in some polling stations.

PNU and Narc-Kenya candidates and their supporters accused each other of paying voters either to cast their ballots in their favour or boycott the exercise in the hope that it would enhance their chances of winning.

There were reports that agents of one of the candidates were arrested as they bribed voters at Kaitheri, St Joseph’s, Kirinyaga Technical and Njega’s polling centres.

But Kirinyaga police chief Patrick Oduma denied the claims, saying, no one had been arrested. He dismissed the claims as propaganda.

“I have visited all those stations, but there is no evidence that this is taking place. We have not arrested anyone on such claims,” he said.

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