TNA loses to ODM in Mathare - Daily Nation

ODM’s Stephen Kariuki wins Mathare seat in mini-poll

Monday August 11 2014

ODM’s Stephen Kariuki acknowledges cheers from his supporters after he was declared the winner of the Mathare by-elections on August 11, 2014. PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI

ODM’s Stephen Kariuki acknowledges cheers from his supporters after he was declared the winner of the Mathare by-elections on August 11, 2014. The recently elected Mathare MP attributes his victory to a grassroots network. PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By AGGREY MUTAMBO
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By BERNARD NAMUNANE
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The National Alliance on Monday night lost the Mathare seat to the Orange Democratic Movement, giving the Cord coalition a fresh impetus in its push for a referendum.

ODM’s Stephen Kariuki fought off stiff competition from George Wanjohi of TNA garnering 14,966 votes against his rival’s 14,082.

Mr Wanjohi’s victory in the March 2013 General Election was nullified following a petition filed by Mr Kariuki.

Only 33 per cent of voters turned out in the by-election.

Cord leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta campaigned for their candidates in the Nairobi constituency.

While Mr Odinga accused the government of failing to take control of the security of Kenyans, President Kenyatta argued that the opposition coalition was pushing for a referendum to discredit his government.

The results, which increased the number of ODM MPs in Nairobi County to eight — and reduced TNA’s numbers to nine — will give the former Prime Minister a new spring in his political walk as he spearheads the crusade for a referendum on insecurity, devolution, national unity, equality and cost of living.

Other candidates were William Omondi (Independent, 194), Crispus Fwamba Nyangangali (Maendeleo Democratic Party, 66), Ms Mariam Muthoni Macharia (Independent, 39), Mr Sammy Jentruo Mudanya (Progressive Party of Kenya,37), Barack Obat Blasto (Independent,19), Billian Okoth Ojiwa (National Labour Party, 15) and Nixon Kavai Inziria (Independent, 11). (VIDEO: Nine battle it out for Mathare seat)

A total of 29,733 votes were cast with 29,429 declared valid, 220 rejected while 84 spoilt. The constituency has 88,053 registered voters.

Mr Kariuki and his supporters broke into song and dance at St Theresa’s Primary School near Mlango Kubwa after the Returning Officer announced the results shortly after 9 pm.

TNA leaders who were at the tallying centre —Maina Kamanda, Beth Mugo and new Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria — quickly went into a meeting when it appeared that the 1,000-vote margin which Mr Kariuki maintained over their candidate may not be closed.

“The voter turn out is not bad. To us as the electoral commission, we will record what people want. All we do is reflect the will of the people,’’ Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioner Thomas Letangule told reporters at the main tallying centre.

INCIDENTS OF VIOLENCE

It was the first mini-poll in Nairobi City, following the 2013 General Election. (READ: It’s all systems go for Mathare poll)

And although IEBC officials said it was a smooth programme, two incidents of violence threatened to mar it. They happened at Riverbridge and Ndururuno polling stations. (READ: IEBC postpones Mathare by-election)

At Riverbridge, a group of voters faced off with youths from a rival camp.

The exchange degenerated into a fight before the police intervened.

Everyone fled only for a similar skirmish to arise at Ndururuno primary school.

A convoy of six cars was stopped from entering the compound as another rowdy group claimed they were bringing in ‘‘Men in Black’’.

The vehicles were turned away by the police but the youths stoned them as they drove off.

Some of the vehicles were then towed to Huruma Police Station with broken side mirrors, twisted bonnets and shattered windows.

The youths, supporting one of the candidates, claimed the vehicles were importing voters.

The owners claimed they were party agents who had been prevented from observing elections.

The returning officer, Mr Joseph Masindent, told reporters later that only impersonators had been prevented from getting into the station.

“We had an incident where an impersonator tried to get in as a party agent. But we have checked all their documents and an agent has been left out, he said.

The commission said it had allowed in two agents for each candidate in all the 115 polling centres.

The by-election had attracted nine contestants, four of whom were independent candidates.

Overall, many of the polling stations were calm with the security tight.

There were no long queues and it took a voter an average of five minutes to vote. With little to do, the more than 250 anti-riot police could be seen seated in their trucks or standing in groups chatting.

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