Rebel ODM lawmakers from the Coast have vowed to continue working closely with the Jubilee administration although their preferred candidate lost in the Malindi by-election on Monday.
Briefing the media in Malindi a day after the announcement of ODM candidate William Mtengo’s victory, the rebel MPs’ leader, Mr Gideon Mung’aro, said the loss did not discourage them from fostering a close relationship with Jubilee.
As he said this, in Nairobi, ODM chairman John Mbadi said the Malindi and Kericho by-elections were marred by irregularities, including allegations of voter bribery.
He also demanded that the results of the Kericho by-election be audited. ODM did not field a candidate in Kericho.
“In Malindi, several Jubilee sympathisers and MPs were arrested by citizens for engaging in voter treatment activities but the commission appears uninterested in pursuing the cases involving Ferdinand Waititu (Kabete MP) and his colleagues,” said Mr Mbadi.
“The Kericho results look like a serious scam. We need the matter looked into, otherwise the entire preparation for the 2017 general Election will be in great jeopardy,” said the Suba MP.
IEBC chairman Issack Hassan on Wednesday denied allegations of irregularities and said the results were credible and that he would gazette them Thursday.
“We have confirmed that the results are authentic. The elections were free and fair,” Mr Hassan told the Daily Nation.
He said no political party had filed any formal complaints on rigging with the commission.
There being no complaints, he said, IEBC had no option but to take the process forward as required by law.
Meanwhile, Malindi MP-elect Mtengo pledged to work with all the people of Malindi irrespective of whether they voted for him or not.
Mr Mtengo urged voters “to leave politics behind” and work together to bring development.
“Politics is over now. Let us leave it behind us and work together to foster fast development in Malindi. We all need each other,” he said.
He urged those who opposed him during the campaigns to join hands with his team so that they could plan for the development of the constituency.
However, Mr Mung’aro said that he and other ODM rebels would launch campaigns throughout the Coast to “tell our people that Cord or ODM is not the only party”.
“We will go all over the Coast to tell our people that there are benefits in cooperating closely with the government,” he said.
Mr Mtengo of ODM got 15,582 votes to win the seat left vacant after the nomination of Mr Dan Kazungu (ODM) as Mining Cabinet secretary. Mr Philip Charo of JAP was second with 9,243 votes.
Mr Mung’aro spearheaded Mr Charo’s campaign.
Other leaders who supported the JAP candidate were Shariff Athman (Lamu East), Julius Ndegwa (Lamu West), Harry Kombe (Magarini), Masoud Mwahima (Likoni), Khatib Mwashetani (Lunga Lunga), Zainab Chidzuga (Woman Rep Kwale County), Mustafa Idd (Kilifi South) and nominated senators Mvita Kisasa and Emma Mbura.
In Nairobi, Mr Mbadi alleged that the government was planning to militarise next year’s General Election.
“They are now planning to militarise civic elections in Kenya like their friends in Uganda did the other day,” he claimed.
Mr Mbadi said ODM would intensify calls to disband the electoral commission, saying that it had failed to clear credibility issues surrounding it.
Kanu has already rejected results for the Kericho by-elections but it is not clear if the party will take any action.
The former ruling party has also indicated it will support moves to disband the commission ahead of the next elections.
The party had said it would release information to prove its claim that the Kericho by-election was rigged.
However, the IEBC chief executive officer, Mr Ezra Chiloba, said the commission would publish the results from all polling centres on its website for the public to verify them.
“We will publish the results as received from all polling centres both in Kericho and in Malindi,” he said.