, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 12 – Newly elected Member of National Assembly for Mathare constituency Steven Kariuki has termed his victory in Monday’s by-election as vindication that he had won the seat in 2013.
Kariuki, who had his March 2013 victory nullified after an electoral official told a court that she was forced to announce him the winner at gunpoint, said he will endeavour to serve all his constituents.
“I want to thank those who elected me and those who turned out to vote for the others. But now, I am your MP and will serve you without favour,” he said.
The ODM candidate was forced to challenge the decision to announce TNA’s George Wanjohi the winner and the Court of Appeal subsequently ordered a repeat poll.
Kariuki said: “I would like to remind the IEBC officials present that last year we were at this very venue, I was given the winner’s certificate and form 36 in this very same manner but someone else was gazetted as the MP and he went to Parliament but today you have tried and made things right for that we say thank you.”
Bishop Margaret Wanjiru who was instrumental in her son re-capturing the seat applauded his performance and asked him to focus of delivering pledges he made to the electorate.
“I would like to congratulate the new MP for Mathare constituency… I am proud of you my son, you have done something that most people thought you would not be able to do. Now you must focus of performing in the eyes of those who entrusted you with this seat,” said Bishop Wanjiru who represented the area as Starehe MP before it was split.
Nairobi Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke and Kibra MP Ken Okoth similarly said Kariuki’s win was proof that the party is popular in Nairobi and pledged to work with him.
“I want to applaud the people of Mathare because they have employed a young, hardworking and visionary leader and as the leadership of Nairobi County I want to affirm that we will give all the support,” Mueke stated.
Kariuki garnered 14,966 votes while immediate former Member of Parliament Wanjohi of The National Alliance party got 14,082 votes.
In the meantime, the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy says it intends to build on Monday’s win in the Mathare constituency by-election to ensure it wins in the proposed referendum.
Kibra MP Ken Okoth said the Coalition’s victory in the Nairobi which was considered to be a Jubilee Coalition stronghold proved that it still held sway among Kenyans and urged the Jubilee Coalition administration to take notice.
“The Mathare poll was not a small issue, it was just a sign of things to come of what we will do in the referendum. We will go all out like we did in Makueni and Bungoma Senatorial seat by-election,” he said.
CORD is pushing for a referendum to address issues such as insecurity, devolution, land reform, electoral reforms, equality in public appointments, and fighting corruption.