Kenyan MP tells of futile bribery

March 1, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 1 – Juja Member of Parliament George Thuo on Monday said his people stood by him despite massive bribery by his opponent during the 2007 General Election.

Mr Thuo told the High Court that attempts by his opponent William Kabogo to sway voters were fruitless "as their will overpowered Kabogo\’s huge wallet."

While testifying in an election petition filed by Mr Kabogo, the lawmaker said however much his opponent tried to sway the voters, they were determined to vote him in.
He urged the court to dismiss the petition with costs because it was frivolous and "an affront to Juja voters."
“Over 60,000 residents made a decision in December 2007.  Annulling the election in favour of the petitioner would be an affront to them,” he said adding that they proved that money was not everything.
Mr Thuo told Justice Luka Kimaru that Mr Kabogo should not be allowed to benefit from his own wrongdoing because it was he who tried, “but failed terribly” to influence voters.  “I won decisively. The petition is an abuse of the court process,” he said.
On the conduct of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya, Mr Thuo said the electoral body conducted the elections in a free and fair manner.
Mr Thuo added that some 4,000 votes in his favour were not included in the final tally meaning that he would have beaten his opponent by a bigger margin.
He told the court that Mr Kabogo should not use the failure to include the 4,000 votes as an excuse because that was akin to complaining on his behalf. “He should not complain on my behalf,” he said.
Mr Thuo, who is also one of the government chief whips, won the seat by 52,321 votes against Mr Kabogo\’s 32,987.

Mr Kabogo has challenged the results citing irregularities.
Mr Thuo has denied bribing anyone and accused Mr Kabogo of influencing voters even during the polling day.
Mr Macharia Kariuki, a witness called by Mr Thuo supported the sentiments of bribery saying he witnessed voters being bribed at Ngoliba primary school on polling day.
The witness further told the court that Mr Kabogo’s agents walked out of the tallying centre at Thika Municipal hall, on seeing defeat. He dismissed allegations by Mr Kabogo that his agents were thrown out of the hall by General Service Unit personnel.

Mr Kariuki also claimed that the Presiding Officer at Magogoni Polling Station campaigned and canvassed votes for Mr Kabogo including the Election Day.

The hearing continues.


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