, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 19 – Ford Kenya candidate Moses Wetangula has recaptured his Bungoma senatorial seat with a landslide win after garnering 149,458 votes against his main contender Musikari Kombo, who got about a half of the votes.
Kombo, who was vying on a New Ford Kenya ticket, came second with 81,016 votes followed by independent candidate David Makali and Labour Party of Kenya candidate Bifwoli Wakoli at a distant third and fourth place respectively.
Makali secured 2,155 votes while Wakoli garnered 1,899 votes from a total of 942 polling stations, with a 57 percent voter turnout.
Song and dance had broken out in Bungoma town as Wetangula’s supporters celebrated the win even before the results were officially declared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
Wetangula maintained a steady lead against Kombo before gradually stretching the gap that secured his win.
Police had a difficult time keeping off supporters who wanted to storm the tallying centre immediately Wetangula arrived in the hall at the Kenya Industrial Estate.
Legislators allied to Wetangula at some point started demanding that the County Returning Officer Ben Misati declares him the winner based on the reflection of the provisional results.
Kakamega County Senator Bonny Khalwale and Kimilili MP Chris Wamalwa said the provisional results were enough to declare Wetangula the winner.
“A precedent was set at Bomas where His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner before all the forms came in. There is a lot of anxiety as you delay this and it is likely to create a lot of discomfort so may you declare the winner with immediate effect,” demanded Wamalwa.
But Misati stood his ground maintaining that he would not declare a winner until he received forms 36 from all the constituency returning officers.
He explained that the polling officers had to return forms 35 and the ballot boxes to the constituency returning officers for clearance. This would then be followed by a re-tally by the constituency returning officers who would key in the figures in forms 36 before handing them over to Misati.
“This will go on between now and possibly 1:00am at night and may even extend to 2am because of some centers in Mount Elgon,” he clarified.
Wetangula’s March 4 win was nullified by the High Court in Bungoma after Kombo went to court arguing that the CORD co-principal had violated several electoral practices.
The court found that electoral offences were indeed conducted at the time, validating the need for a by election, but did not pin them down to Wetangula.