, MAKUENI, Kenya, Oct 18 – Barely an hour into Friday, Patrick Musimba was re-instated as the, ‘MP elect for Kibwezi West’ when the constituency’s Returning Officer Noor Gedi declared him the winner of Thursday’s by-election exercise.
Gedi made the announcement after Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials received the result forms from all 164 polling streams used in the Kibwezi West by-election exercise thereby verifying the provisional results.
“As you are aware we had three candidates and the results are as follows: Juliana Mumo Kisimbi for Pick garnered 148 votes, next is Patrick Mweu Musimba who garnered 17, 103 votes and the third candidate Richard K Ndile garnered 16, 928 votes,” Gedi declared before going on to award Musimba an election certificate.
On receiving the certificate, Musimba called on all those present to join him in the National Anthem explaining, “I firmly believe we are first Kenyans before parties.”
He therefore extended an olive branch to his opponents urging them to expend their energy not in petitioning his win but on the furtherance of Kibwezi West.
“I am hopeful they will accept the victory and the verdict of the people of Kibwezi West,” Musimba said echoing IEBC Commissioner Mohamed Alawi who was categorical that the by-election results reflected the will of the people despite Ndile and Kisimbi threatening to again petition Musimba’s win.
“This by-election is proof that IEBC ensures the will of the people is respected,” he said.
Kisimbi was however adamant that neither of her competitors should have been awarded the election certificate as they were guilty of electoral offences.
“I was called by one of my chief agents and he mentioned to me there was heavy voter buying last night to this morning…and that constitutes electoral malpractice that goes against the code of conduct we all signed.”
“Despite it being claimed that these elections were calm, there was also chaos at Makindu Market on Monday and I would like to say that my opponents were engaged in a fist fight and stone throwing and they ought to have been disqualified on that Monday,” she continued to say.
Evidence of which, IEBC Communication Manager Tabitha Mutemi said, the commission is yet to receive despite candidates having complained of voter bribery in Matungulu and Siaya as well.
Makueni County Returning Officer Salad Boru went on to explain that the offenders can only be disqualified from contesting once the commission is in possession of solid proof of electoral malpractice.
“Something along the lines of a video clip showing the contestant inciting the youth or handing over large wads of cash,” he gave as an example.
But even as they point fingers at each other for the very same crimes, Musimba and Ndile have denied breaking the law in their quest to emerge victorious.