NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 9 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has confirmed it irregularly issued a winner’s certificate to ODM’s Stephen Kariuki for the Mathare parliamentary seat, but the greenhorn insists he was duly elected.
Kariuki said he would not surrender his winner’s certificate which was issued to him after the tallying of votes concluded that he had won Monday’s election.
“I was declared the winner by the Returning Officer and issued with the certificate which I have in my possession.”
He accused the commission of giving into pressure from his competitor, TNA’s Maina Wanjohi.
“I have consulted my legal team and any person with disputes concerning the March 4th election should follow the IEBC chairman Issack Hassan’s advise and go to the elections court as prescribed in the Elections Act,” he said.
An IEBC official from the poll agency said they were “taking measures to correct the anomaly.”
Kariuki, who is the eldest son of former Starehe legislator Bishop Margret Wanjiru, was declared the winner on Thursday after garnering 34,076 votes against Wanjohi’s 32,156 votes.
Kariuki added; “I was then declared the winner by the Returning Officer and issued with the certificate which I have in my possession. There were no complaints raised whatsoever and my closest competitor conceded defeat.”
“I am in utter shock and dismayed with information being sent around the media houses and the general public by IEBC purporting to have irregularly issued me with a certificate of Results of Member of Parliament for the National Assembly, Mathare parliamentary seat.”
The certificate presentation was disrupted several times and forced security personnel to step in after Wanjohi was accused of inciting supporters by calling them to protest in the tallying area.
The IEBC cited the existence of a petition filed at the High Court challenging the results of the Mathare Parliamentary elections as among the reason why it had reversed its decision but Kariuki stated that his competitor had withdrawn the petition.
“Instead of waiting for the court to deliver the ruling on the election petition, sensing defeat before the court, my opponent withdrew the application and instead pressurised IEBC to unlawfully and unconstitutionally withdraw the certificate and unprocedurally issued another certificate to my opponent.”
He demanded the electoral agency to explain its decision which he claimed has caused anxiety among Mathare constituents.
Kariuki stated; “The Mathare Constituents voted peacefully and witnessed the results being announced in my favour. The sudden turn of events has raised a lot of suspicion as to why the tallied results validly announced can be changed at the whims of the IEBC officials.”
He termed the move by the IEBC to declare Wanjohi as the winner as being ‘unlawful’.
“This is rigging of the highest order as they have no legal grounds to claim that they can issue another certificate behind closed doors,” he added.