A political novice on Monday pulled a major upset by defeating two veteran politicians to claim the Makadara parliamentary seat in Nairobi.
Businessman Gideon Mbuvi Kioko — who only joined national politics three months ago — beat former MPs Dick Wathika and Reuben Ndolo by nearly 3,000 votes in Monday’s by-election.
The win mirrored a day of surprises and upsets as PNU lost two seats while Narc Kenya won two and ODM retained one.
Former MPs William Kabogo and Margaret Wanjiru reclaimed the Juja and Starehe parliamentary seats respectively. Bishop Wanjiru was reclaiming the seat she lost in an election petition, while Mr Kabogo, a successful petitioner, was reclaiming the seat he held before the 2007 poll.
He got 45,020 votes, beating the immediate former MP, Mr George Thuo, to third place with 19,366 votes. Kenya National Congress Party’s Alice Wambui was second with 24,326 votes.
In Makadara, newcomer Gideon Mbuvi Kioko, alias Sonko, polled 19,106, Reuben Ndolo 16,215 and Mr Wathika 10,480.
Among the petitioners, only Mr Kabogo in Juja won as Mr Kamanda and Mr Ndolo fell by the wayside.
It was a major disappointment for Deputy PM Uhuru Kenyatta, who had campaigned hard for Mr Thuo, a former Government Chief Whip and Mr Wathika, but eventually lost to a candidate supported by his political rival Gichugu, MP Martha Karua.
Mr Kabogo described the win as “sweet”.
“The victory that was stolen from the people of Juja has been given back,” he said. “The people of Juja have quietly been waiting for this day.”
He accused the Provincial Administration of intimidation and working in favour of one candidate.
“Although the IIEC have done a good job, they were not able to deal with cases of bribery despite several reports that we made to them,” Mr Kabogo said.
He suggested that the IIEC be given powers to arrest and prosecute, claiming that the police were partisan.
Mr Thuo spent most of the day and evening at the Blue Posts hotel in Thika.
Wild celebrations marked Mr Kabogo’s victory. The youths lined Kenyatta Avenue, opposite Thika Town Hall, where the IIEC had set up a screen to relay the results as they came in from the polling stations.
The celebrations began shortly after 8pm when Mr Kabogo opened a 15,000-vote lead against his nearest opponent, Alice Ng’ang’a.