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We’ll vote for UhuRuto again, Jubilee supporters say

Friday September 1 2017

A resident of Nyeri Town speaks to journalists shortly after the Supreme Court delivered judgement on the presidential poll petition. Residents said they will still vote for UhuRuto in the repeat elections. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A resident of Nyeri Town speaks to journalists shortly after the Supreme Court delivered judgement on the presidential poll petition. Residents said they will still vote for UhuRuto in the repeat elections. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

NATION TEAM
By NATION TEAM
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Following the decision by the Supreme Court judges to annul the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, Jubilee supporters remained calm as they pondered the judgement.

Business activities remained normal in Nyeri Town as news of the court judgement were received.

Residents who spoke to Nation vowed to turn out in large numbers during the repeat election which should be held within 60 days from the day of the court decision.

They have urged President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto not to panic saying their numbers are intact.

The residents have also faulted the court, arguing that it should have invalidated the election in all the other seats if the law was not followed.

DISAPPOINTED

Mr Sammy Mwangi, a Nyeri resident said, “I am really disappointed with the court’s ruling. It means were are going back to campaigns which greatly affected our businesses.”

Paul Ndirangu, a businessman, said the electoral agency disappointed voters but said the court ruling charged President Kenyatta’s strongholds by instilling fear and panic of losing.

“The nullification will lead to high turn out during the repeat election. The court did not question the number of votes garnered by the President but transmission,” said Mr Ndirangu.

He said he expected the President’s election to be upheld, but the invalidation indicated that there were irregularities.

“If there were irregularities and regulations were not followed, the election deserved that decision,” said Mr Kimathi as he expressed confidence that the President will win again.

KIAMBU

In Kiambu, shock and disappointment greeted residents after the nullification of President Kenyatta’s win.

However, they vowed to turn out in large numbers during the repeat election.

Most of the residents followed the judges’’ decision from various social joints while others were busy doing their businesses.

When the judgement was delivered, business went on as usual including in Mr Kenyatta’s Gatundu South Constituency where local and international media had camped.

Unhappy residents from the region which gave Jubilee 913,000 votes discussed the ruling in smalls groups where they expressed their disappointment as they analysed the way forward.

HEARTBROKEN

Many residents were heartbroken but said they were determined to re-affirm President Kenyatta’s victory when the election is repeated.

Linford Mutembei, who lives in Kamiti, in Kiambu Town Constituency, and who is the chairman of Mount Kenya Youth Caucus, a political lobby group, said though the court overturned the election, the ruling did not change Jubilee numbers or sway their political stand.

“The news was a disappointment, but for us as President Kenyatta’s supporters, we will maintain calm and continue with our daily business waiting for the repeat. I am very sure that when that day comes, we will [defeat] the opposition,” said Mr Mutembei.

Mr Mutembei said all Jubilee elected leaders should now dedicate their energies towards campaigning for Mr Kenyatta in areas where he enjoys minimal backing to ensure him garner more votes.

Mr Joseph Kamau, a trader in Limuru, questioned the parameters used by Supreme Court to invalidate President Kenyatta’s re-election, but said he would respect it.

“We have very many questions on why things have turned out this way, but because the verdict has been given, we have no choice by to respect it,” he said.

However, this has not killed our morale and during the repeat, we will turn out again in large numbers and vote for the President Kenyatta,” Mr Kamau said.

Ms Nancy Njoki, a dairy farmer in Githunguri said, “This (ruling) was a shock. It’s something that I did not expect but this will not change our political stance on Jubilee, and even if the opposition have carried the day in court, its (President) Kenyatta who will have the last laugh when the election is done because we will once again turn out in large numbers and vote for him,”.

KIRINYAGA

Kirinyaga Jubilee vice-chairman Mureithi Kang'ara said he did not believe what had happened.

"I am surprised because throughout the proceedings the petitioners were not able to prove that the presidential poll had irregularities," said Mr Kang'ara.

Gichugu MP Githinji Gichimu said he never expected the court to make such a judgement.

"I'm a lawyer by profession but I'm not satisfied with the judgement. However the Supreme Court’s decision should be respected whether it is good or bad," said Mr Gichimu.

MERU

In Meru residents felt that Mr Kenyatta will beat Mr Odinga by bigger margin in the repeat elections.
“The court’s decision was good but I want to tell you that the president will now win by a bigger margin. He polled 8 million votes in August but the repeat will see him win with ten million or more votes,’’ said Lydia Kiugu.

Mr Jadiel Muchui said there could be a voter apathy in the region as some voters who live in others towns may find it difficult to travel upcountry to going by August experience where fares were doubled.

He asked Kenyans to live peaceful as they wait for the repeat of the presidential election as ordered by Supreme Court.

VICTORY DELAYED

Molo MP Kuria Kimani said the decision is “victory delayed” since the same people who voted for President Kenyatta will vote for him again.

"Whether we vote once or twenty times, the outcome will be the same," he said.

In Chuka Town, Tharaka-Nithi County, it was business as usual following the news of the Supreme Court decision.

Residents who spoke to Nation said they were happy with the decision and some even demanded a repeat of the entire six elections.

In Mandera County, it was also business as usual in the towns of Elwak, Kotulo, Lafey, Takaba, Banisa, Rhamu and Mandera.

The county supported Jubilee in the August 8 elections despite two parties battling it out in the gubernatorial race.

GATUNDU

In Gatundu, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s hometown, residents who spoke to Nation said the decision by the Supreme Court was not only unfair but it is also bad for the economy as the money spent during the August 8 election “has just gone to waste”.

They said more funds which would have been spent in improving the economy will be spent in the repeat presidential election.

The residents also termed celebrations by Nasa supporters following the petition outcome as premature and unnecessary since “it is not a declaration of opposition leader Raila Odinga as president”.

They vowed to come out in large numbers to vote for President Uhuru Kenyatta in the repeat election.

"We are shocked by the Supreme Court's decision. However, we shall stay peaceful awaiting to vote back President Uhuru Kenyatta as many times as we may be called upon to," Said Cecilia Kamau, a trader.

ELDORET
Most residents in the North Rift expressed their dismay over the nullification of President Kenyatta’s win saying it was unfortunate that their votes had gone to waste.

There was little activity in most towns in the region considered a Jubilee zone with most people opting to continue with their businesses.

Security was beefed up in the North Rift town with police officers making patrols in major streets.

In Eldoret town in Uasin Gishu County considered Deputy President William Ruto’s backyard, the supporters said the ruling was dissatisfactory.

Majority of the residents who spoke to the Nation expressed their disappointment and dissatisfaction with the six-judge bench saying that President Kenyatta was properly elected in the August 8 polls.

VOTE AGAIN

They said they would would turn up to vote again in the elections set to be held within 60 days.

"All I can say is that I know it's not yet over. This court ruling will not divide us supporters of Jubilee here in Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Baringo and the entire North Rift. We survive to fight another day,” said Mr Jacktone Kimutai.

Mr Kimutai’s sentiments were seconded by Mr Francis Rono who said Jubilee supporters will vote again for Mr Kenyatta when fresh presidential polls are conducted.

“I want to tell the world that as Jubilee supporters this is not the end of us. Raila Odinga and his team should not celebrate because we are going to vote for Uhuru Kenyatta to the last man,” said Mr Rono.

Mr Victor Bitok faulted the court, saying it had made a political decision because most Members of Parliament, Senators and MCAs were elected on a Jubilee Party ticket.

“There is no reasonable doubt that President Kenyatta won this election if the number of elected Jubilee Party leaders is anything to go by,” said Mr Bitok who doubles as the Uasin Gishu Jubilee Party Organising Secretary.

Ms Anne Wangui, a trader in the town, called for peace saying that Kenyans should not be divided on political and tribal lines.

NANDI

In Nandi County, there was calm as majority of the locals carried on with their activities but took issue with the judgement by the Supreme Court saying it reflected of a predetermined verdict in favour of the petitioners.

Those who spoke with the Nation from the Jubilee side they have respected the court’s verdict but poked holes in the judgment.

“We are ready to take part in another electoral exercise. We have to make our voice heard as it was in the August polls because the electorate have the final decision on who should be elected,” said Mr. Joel Rotich.

ELGEYO-MARAKWET

In Elgeyo-Marakwet County, residents in Iten town regretted the ruling but exuded confidence that the President’s win will be confirmed when elections are repeated.

“Even if we repeat, Uhuru will still beat Nasa principal Raila Odinga,” said Mr Samson Kiplagat.

Another resident Alice Chepkong’a said she was disappointed by the court’s outcome.

“I thought we were through and ready to get down to work. I have never liked the campaigns that come to disorganise people from their businesses and start getting into political mood once again,” said Ms Chepkong’a.

Reporting by Mary Wambui, Alex Njeru, Manase Otsialo, Joseph Wangui, Grace Gitau, George Munene, Ken Bett, Eric Wainaina, Dennis Lubanga, Philemon Suter and Philip Bwayo