Simon Mbugua declared Kamukunji MP

August 11, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, August 11 – Simon Mbugua was declared winner of the controversial Kamukunji Parliamentary seat Monday in an acrimonious tallying of votes at the Shauri Moyo social hall.

The Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) Returning Officer Priscilla Wamiru handed the Party of National Unity candidate a certificate, effectively sending him to the August House.

The declaration led to protests from Orange Democratic Party leaders, led by candidate Yusuf Ibrahim Ali who complained that a vote-recount was not conducted as had been expected.

“The returning officer just came and started announcing the winners. Tallying in my understanding is not an announcement,” he bitterly stated.

“The court told us to tally and we all abided by that. But I think they have done their tallying somewhere else and just announced a winner. No form 16a was produced as evidence to show that any tallying was going to be done.”

The ECK official declared Mbugua winner with 22,614 votes followed by Ibrahim who garnered 16,604 votes.

Ali, who was flanked by nominated MP Rachael Shebesh, former Makadara legislator Reuben Ndolo and other ODM officials vowed to lodge a petition in court.

However the returning officer, Priscilla Wamiru said the court ordered for a tally not a recount so vote counting could not be done.

Security was tight at the Shauri Moyo Social hall where trucks of anti riot police officers had been deployed.

Dozens of ballot boxes arrived at the hall almost an hour later than the expected 8.30 commencement time.

Ibrahim complained that party agents had been prevented from entering the counting hall.

 “They (officers) have barricaded the roads and they are not even allowing in the candidates and their agents. ECK has given an order that they want a candidate with two agents, but even that they (officers) are not allowing. They say they are not yet ready,” he told reporters who kept vigil at the site.

“I don’t know what time they will be ready. I have managed to go in (into the tallying hall) but it was a fight just to see what was going on,” Ibrahim said.

Officers were also deployed to the major roads leading to the social hall barring access to the area.

Residents who live near the venue of the exercise were turned back by police and were unable to access their homes.

The tallying is in compliance with a High Court directive that the Returning Officer who oversaw the Kamukunji elections in December completes the exercise and announce the results as required by law.

The election in Kamukunji was nullified after tallying was interrupted at Shauri Moyo Social Hall.

Justices Joseph Nyamu and Roselyn Wendoh said the decision was unreasonable and in excess of ECK’s powers.

The court said the results of 123 polling stations had been approved and signed by all the agents of the candidates making them valid.



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