Jubilee strongholds erupt in rapturous joy after Uhuru win

Sunday August 13 2017

Jubilee supporters celebrate just before the IEBC delivered the final verdict on the presidential election tally on August 11, 2017. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Jubilee supporters celebrate just before the IEBC delivered the final verdict on the presidential election tally on August 11, 2017. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SUNDAY NATION TEAM
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Wild celebrations broke out in various parts of Jubilee strongholds after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission announced that President Kenyatta had beaten his main challenger, Raila Odinga of Nasa.

In Nakuru town, major streets – including Kenyatta Avenue, Gusii Road, Baringo Road, the popular Kanu Street and the Central Business District – were turned into the gala venues.

Transport along the Nairobi-Nakuru-Eldoret highway was also paralysed for over  30 minutes by huge groups of supporters chanting, shouting, whistling, waving twigs and Jubilee banners, and blowing vuvuzelas as they celebrated at Free Area, Kunste and other areas.

JUBILEE STRONGHOLD

Nakuru is considered a Jubilee stronghold and delivered 639,528 votes to Mr Kenyatta while Mr Raila Odinga got 111,789 votes.

In Naivasha, Molo and Gilgil towns, it was all song and dance for hours.

Motorists were forced to join the celebrations, but no acts of lawlessness were reported.

Although usually a beehive of activity, yesterday Naivasha remained deserted with a heavy police presence.

“It is a routine patrol by the law enforcers to ensure law and order are maintained,” said Mr Isaac Masinde, the sub-county administrator. He said security will remain tight with the cosmopolitan town prone to sporadic incidents of violence.

Eldoret town, which was hit the hardest following the disputed 2007 presidential election result, was on Friday evening thrown into a frenzy after celebrations broke out following Mr Kenyatta’s victory.

BUDALANG’I CHEERS

Some went down on their knees and uttered prayers while others lay on the ground chanting anti-Odinga slogans.

“This is a historic day for this country. I knew President Kenyatta will be elected based on his track record. No doubt about that,” said Mr Daniel Waweru, a taxi driver in the town and a Jubilee supporter. 

However, by Saturday morning the celebrations had whittled down to small groups of people seen discussing the political development in the country. Eldoret is Deputy President William Ruto’s home town.

Two people were run over by vehicles on Friday night during the celebrations following the announcement of President Kenyatta as the winner of Tuesday’s General Election.

A man was knocked down in Mai-Mahiu in the outskirts of Naivasha town during celebrations.

Angry residents torched the vehicle immediately after the incident.

DEATH

Deputy County Commissioner Isaac Masinde confirmed the death, which occurred immediately the presidential results were announced. Police said several young people were hanging precariously on moving vehicles, oblivious of the danger.

In Molo, a man, who residents identified as Okoth, died after he tried to hang onto a moving lorry and fell on the tarmac before he was run over.  Residents said the deceased was a cook at Molo Police Station.

Molo police base commander Moses Nderitu confirmed the incident and urged the residents to be careful and celebrate in moderation. The deceased’s body was taken to Molo sub- county hospital mortuary.

In Busia town,  Labour Party leader Ababu Namwamba led Jubilee supporters in celebrations.  Addressing supporters at Port Victoria town, Mr Namwamba hit out at the opposition led by Mr Odinga for not conceding defeat.

HAPPY

“We are happy to have been part of a well-run presidential campaign that swept across the country, including in perceived opposition strongholds of Kisii, Coast, Nyamira and some pockets of Western Kenya,” he said.

“We don’t regret our association with Jubilee and we are happy that an initiative such as Mbele iko Sawa, which was under my stewardship, yielded overwhelming results in determination of the polls outcome,” said Mr Namwamba.

In Kisii, hundreds flocked to entertainment joints on Friday evening to await the IEBC’s announcement. Taxi and motorbike operators flooded the town as usual with the hope of ferrying their clients to different destinations.

FOOD

Saturday, Mary Bosibori, a fruit vendor at the Kisii Fresh Fruits and Vegetables market, said what matters to them now is how they will get food to their families. 

“There is no need for people to fight because of elections. Violence will not add any value to our country,” she said.

Kisii administration police commander Mohamed Kutsola said the security situation in the region was good but they are on high alert. “We will be vigilant throughout. We will leave nothing to chance,” he said. Security officers are patrolling the town.

In Nyeri, citizens braved  chilly weather in the town to celebrate Jubilee’s victory.  The celebrations lasted more than three hours. Previously, operations in the town were slow as residents remained indoors to await the results.

“I did not want to miss anything. I was anxious and wanted to be there as the numbers kept trickling in as relayed by the electoral commission,” said Ephantus Mwangi, a  taxi driver.  The business community lamented slow business after the elections were conducted. 

“We opened on time as other days but did not have as many customers. It was four days of losses for most businesses,” said Martha Njeri, a resident. But hoteliers and fast-food joints enjoyed brisk business as people flocked their hotels.

UGLY INCIDENTS

However, in Kakamega County, there was little celebration soon after the IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati made the all-important announcement.

Residents of Kakamega town were spotted gathered in small groups discussing the outcome of the poll. However, there was calm and people went about their normal activities yesterday.

County Police Commander Tito Kilonzo said patrols had been intensified but no ugly incidents had been reported.

The county is seen as a stronghold of Mr Odinga, but vigorous campaigns by Jubilee saw the party clinch four Parliamentary seats.