NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 5 – The National Alliance (TNA) party candidate Moses Kuria is the MP-elect for Gatundu South after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared a no-contest in Thursday’s poll.
The declaration follows the withdrawal of Kuria’s only challenger Kiarie Kamere who was vying on a New Democrats Party ticket.
According to the IEBC statement, “Gatundu South Constituency Returning Officer, Mr Kipruto Yegon, was yesterday served with a notice, as per The Election (General) Regulations 2012, Regulation 52, from Mr Joakim Kiarie Kamere withdrawing his candidature from the Gatundu South Parliamentary by-election.”
The electoral body also confirmed that it had received a letter from the New Democrats Party supporting Kamere’s decision to withdraw from the contest while also stating that the party would not field any other candidate.
Kamere had announced his withdrawal from the contest last Friday, saying he did not want to cause a rift in the Jubilee administration as some leaders who were opposed to TNA’s candidate Moses Kuria, were pledging support to him for the seat in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s backyard.
The seat was declared vacant following the death of Joseph Ngugi Munyu.
Kuria’s journey to politics has not been a rosy affair. Since he declared interest in contesting the Gatundu South parliamentary seat, he was already in the limelight for the wrong reasons. The vocal activist had been accused of alleged hate speech after comments he made in a Facebook conversation stoked allegations of tribal animosity.
The Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko took up the matter and after investigating the claims, he recommended that Kuria be prosecuted. On June 19, Kuria was charged with hate speech where he denied the charges, and was released on a Sh2 million bail. The case will be heard on September 2.
And as the drama surrounding the hate speech allegations went on, Kuria was again in the limelight. This time he was facing accusations of alleged rigging of the Gatundu South party nominations.
A number of Members of Parliament drawn from the Jubilee coalition had demanded that the TNA party nomination certificate awarded to Kuria be revoked and instead be awarded to the winner, Joyce Ngugi, the widow of the immediate former MP, the late Ngugi.
The party however went on to award Kuria the nomination certificate.
And in a twist of fate, his sole rival withdrew from the race making him the second Member of Parliament to be elected unopposed since the election of Gideon Moi in 2002.
IEBC is yet to formally declare Moses Kuria the Gatundu South MP.