Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu on Thursday defended her August 8 win, saying she was voted in overwhelmingly, not because of her gender, but because she was the best candidate.
Mrs Ngilu, who said she has been active in politics since 1992 and was conversant with electoral laws, denied claims of bribing voters, intimidation and campaigning on the election day.
She recalled events of December 16, 2016, saying she cheated death, but unfortunately lost her friend and former Kitui Mayor Martha Mwangangi who was crushed to death by a county lorry.
The Kitui governor told Justice Pauline Nyamweya that she had called youths whose kiosks had been demolished by the county government. She said she addressed them and asked them to record a statement with the police with a view of suing the county government.
“But as we walked towards the police station, a speeding fire engine came from nowhere and crushed her. I saw the vehicle run over her,” she said.
The former Cabinet secretary said she was elected because “I am a performer” and the people had lost faith in Dr Julius Malombe. “He was voted in overwhelmingly in 2013 but most of them turned and supported my bid in the last election,” she said.
Ms Ngilu told the court through her lawyer Kioko Kilukumi that she triumphed over two strong men — a sitting governor and a sitting senator — adding that Dr Malombe came a distant third, trailing her with 95,309 votes.
Dr Malombe, who unsuccessfully defended the seat on a Wiper ticket, has accused Ms Ngilu of bribery, intimidation of voters and campaigning on the election day.
The former governor also claimed that although the county is considered a Wiper area, his agents were intimidated and failed to sign election forms.
But Ms Ngilu denied the claims, saying she did not intimidate anyone and a vehicle impounded on the voting day bearing her campaign posters did not belong to her.
She said she wrote three letters on different occasions to county returning officer Albert Nguma that her rivals printed posters claiming that she had withdrawn from the race.