Kenyan minister bounces back

July 13, 2010 12:00 am

, MATUGA, Kenya, Jul 13 – Chirau Ali Mwakwere of the Party of National Unity has successfully recaptured the Matuga parliamentary seat after winning the by-election with a sizeable lead.

The tally of votes, which concluded at about 4.30am on Tuesday at the Government Training Institute in Matuga, showed that Mr Mwakwere had garnered 16,350 votes.

His closest challenger Hassan Mwanyoha of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) had 10,887 votes. The United Democratic Movement\’s Kassim Tandaza garnered 5,165 votes, while Labour Party of Kenya candidate Isaac Mutula had 134 votes.

Mr Mwanyoha, accompanied by the party\’s Secretary General Anyang\’ Nyong’o and Lands Minister James Orengo, conceded defeat and accepted the final verdict of Matuga voters.

Mr Orengo said ODM had conceded defeat and wished Mr Mwakwere the best of luck as he goes back to parliament to finish some of the projects he had initiated before he lost his seat following a successful petition by a voter, Ayub Mwakesi.

Meanwhile, it was party time for the former Transport Minister, who patiently waited for the results to be announced by the Returning Officer Helen Sidi, amid jubilation from his supporters who flanked him.

People danced and the now famous vuvuzelas greeted the announcement of the results, which were also relayed live through the big screen mounted outside the Matuga\’s GTI tallying centre.

MPs Philip Kaloki and Johnstone Muthama and PNU party activist Stanley Livondo were also present to congratulate the re-instated legislator.

In a brief acceptance speech, Mr Mwakwere thanked Matuga residents for turning up in big numbers to vote for him, saying the results reflected voter confidence in his leadership.

"Campaigns have ended and its time to get down to business and I call on Matuga residents to be with me to bring more developments," he said.

At the same time, ODM recaptured the Mwembe Tayari and Changamwe civic seats in Mombasa.

Kibwana Abubakar Rashid who was fronted by Abdulswamad Nassir won the Mwembe Tayari seat, while Peter Oduor backed by the area MP Ramadhan Kajembe won the Changamwe seat.

The Mwembe Tayari seat fell vacant after the resignation of Abdallah Ibrahim, who said he could not work with corrupt officials at the Mombasa Municipal Council, while the Changamwe seat fell vacant following the death of former councillor Kelvin Wesonga last year.


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