, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 22-Riots erupted in Othaya on Tuesday afternoon after word reached supporters of Mary Wambui that her name was missing in the TNA’s final nominee list.
Wambui’s supporters staged a demonstration in the town, demanding an explanation on why her name was not in the final list yet she emerged winner in the just concluded nomination exercise.
The final list of TNA presented to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has the name of Wambui’s rival Mugambi Gichuki.
Already, Wambui has threatened to move to court to sue TNA for denying her victory.
“How can they deny me victory, I was given the certificate by TNA which means I won,” Wambui said. “I will take action.”
Sources at TNA said Wambui’s name was removed from the final list following a successful petition by her main rival.
Tension remained high in Othaya late Tuesday but reports indicated that more police officers had been deployed to maintain order.
The protesters threatened to desert TNA and withdraw their support for its presidential candidate unless Wambui is recognized as winner in the nominations.
In the nominations, Wambui beat her bitter rival Gichuki Mugambi by 13,050 votes to 10,080 to stay on course to succeed President Mwai Kibaki who is retiring after representing the constituency in Parliament since 1985.
Mugambi appealed the decision to the TNA appeals board citing intimidation of voters and election officials during the exercise.
Mugambi interestingly commanded the support of President Kibaki’s eldest son Jimmy.
Jimmy appeared on campaigns on several occasions urging locals to support Mugambi, while saying he was his father’s preferred successor.
But Wambui avoided controversy, saying she neither had the will nor the money to buy “all votes in Othaya.”