President Uhuru Kenyatta’s preferred political party — JAP — scored two victories Monday when its candidates won the Kabete parliamentary and the Oloolua civic seats.
Mr Ferdinand Waititu, the Jubilee Alliance Party candidate, won in Kabete with a landslide, making a comeback in the National Assembly. In the tenth Parliament, he had represented Embakasi Constituency in Nairobi.
Mr Waititu, who trounced his opponents after garnering 24,228 votes, was not a registered voter in the Kabete Constituency and withered numerous challenges, including court cases seeking to block his candidature.
He now succeeds Mr George Muchai, who was shot dead by gangsters as he drove with his bodyguards in Nairobi in February. At least six people have been charged in connection with his death.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has been promoting JAP as the party under whose ticket he will be seeking to recapture the presidency in the next elections.
At the weekend, Deputy President William Ruto asked the leaders of the United Republican Party (URP) of which he is the leader, to drum up support for JAP in the Rift Valley.
Mr Waititu was followed at a distant second by Mr George Mungai Waiguru, an independent candidate who got 268 votes. The other candidates, National Vision Party’s Newton Njenga got 241 votes, while ODM’s Wilson Karanja Kamau got 170 votes.
Mr John Wamagata of Safina got 176, Narc-K’s Kavore Kariuki (149), Paul Kariuki of Party of Kenya(89), Democratic Party’s Kiriro wa Ngugi (82) and Isaiah Ndirangu of the Party of Democratic Unity(33).
The constituency, which has 62, 470 voters, saw a 41 per cent turnout.
Mr Waititu has already indicated that he is interested in contesting against Mr William Kabogo for the governorship of Kiambu in 2017.
JAP lost in its first attempt to capture a parliamentary seat when its candidate, Mr Patrick Tutui, lost in the Kajiado Central by-election to ODM’s Elijah Memusi Kanchory.
The seat fell vacant after the incumbent, the then ODM MP Joseph Nkaissery, was appointed the Cabinet Secretary for the Interior and Co-ordination of the National Government. Mr Memusi defected to ODM after losing to Mr Tutui in the JAP nominations.
Besides Kabete, JAP also won the Oloolua civic seat in Kajiado County. Its candidate, Mr Martin Kimemia won the seat with 2,870 votes, beating a field of six candidates.
Orange Democratic Movement’s Abdirahman Awadh Ali got1,269 votes, Joshua Obegih Orina (independent candidate) 299 votes, Paul Khayanje (independent) 56 votes, Maendeleo Democratic Party’s Peter Nyamai (25) and Stephen Oloishorua (independent) 17 votes.
Voter turnout in Oloolua was also a record low at 34 per cent.
Earlier in the day, two people were arrested at one of the polling stations in Kabete over what the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officers said was questionable behaviour.
Returning Officer Esther Wanjiku said the two were found hovering around Kirangari Primary School polling station and they could not explain what they were doing.
She also said IEBC had sacked and replaced the presiding officer at the Kirangari Polling Station for failing to use electronic voter identification devices.
The commission was using the hand-held device to identify voters and Ms Wanjiku said they had launched investigations on the matter, seeking to establish why the officer opted not to use the devices as required.