, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 14 – Activist Aghostino Neto Oyugi was on Tuesday announced the winner of ODM party nominations in Ndhiwa, as his rivals rejected the outcome citing massive irregularities.
Oyugi beat 21 other candidates in the controversial polls by garnering 4,278 votes out of a total of 7,278 cast ballots. His competitors however doubted the credibility of the results wondering how 21 aspirants got the remaining 3,000 votes.
More questions also arose when Returning Officer Elias Kiton declined to announce the results of the other contestants while declaring Oyugi’s win.
“We were denied a chance to know how we performed and that indicates rigging. Kiton refused to announce our results for no apparent reason,” protested one of the candidates, Monica Amollo.
Several candidates claimed that the exercise, which was also marred by pockets of violence, was skewed in Oyugi’s favour.
Amollo, also said that she would seek legal redress.
“There was outright rigging and I have already sent a letter to the ODM arbitration committee to contest the nomination results. And if the party does not take any action I will use other avenues as contained in the Political Parties Act,” she said.
Some candidates also alleged that the exercise was intentionally delayed with voting kits arriving late in some polling stations.
ODM has in the meantime announced that it is investigating the violence claims that were reported in Ndhiwa. The party at the same time threw its weight behind Oyugi saying the people’s choice must be respected.
In a statement sent to newsrooms, party Secretary General Anyang’ Nyong’o said the exercise embraced democracy and that the party would ensure that it recaptured the seat as a prelude to the coming general election.
“I would also like to congratulate the National Elections Board of the party, the candidates and the people of Ndhiwa for ensuring that the election of the party’s candidate was free and fair,” said Nyong’o.
Among those contesting ODM’s ticket were Mary Ojode, widow to the late area MP Orwa Ojode, Edward Odero, James Omamo Ogola, Washington Kalee, Peter Otieno Kojwang, Robinson Mireje Onyando, Martin Peters Owino, Moses Collins Onono Lorre, Daniel Odinde Nyamai and Michael Ouma Agwanda.
Others were David Ojwang, Beatrice Akinyi Ogola, Hamilton Onyango Orata, Duncan Jomo Osodo, Kennedy Omondi Opiyo, Charles Oyoo Kanyangi, Dennis Onyango Orero, Tom Elvis Okello Obondo, Kennedy Onduru and Jeremiah Okoth Owiti.
Other political parties are also set to carry out nominations in readiness for the by-elections slated for September.
The Ndhiwa seat fell vacant after Ojode died in a plane crash in June this year alongside George Saitoti of Kajiado North. By elections for both seats are set for September 17.