VOI, Kenya, Apr 19 – Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu has lost the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party primary to National Assembly Minority Whip Thomas Mwadeghu (Wundanyi MP).
The Wundanyi lawmaker garnered 18,421 votes against Mruttu’s 15,911 in a final tally released Wednesday, bagging the ticket to fly ODM’s flag in the August 8 General Election.
The incumbent only managed a lead in his Taveta constituency backyard where he amassed 5,112 votes against Mwadeghu’s 1,181.
In Wundanyi, the Minority Whip narrowly defeated Mruttu getting 4,417 votes against the governor’s 3,628 votes but he won the Mwatate constituency vote by a convincing margin garnering 8,626 compared to the incumbent’s 3,221.
In Voi constituency, the county’s commercial hub, the legislator still carried the day albeit with a few more votes compared to Mruttu. Mwadeghu harvested 4,197 compared to 3,950 votes managed by the county boss.
The nominee who spoke to the press after his victory disputed claims that the election was rigged, saying his margin his triumph was unquestionable.
“I have defeated him in three constituencies out of the four. It is very clear,” said Mwadeghu.
Mruttu who had on Monday called for postponement of the exercise by three days has since authored a press release calling for the party to intervene with a view of finding a solution to queries he had had raised.
He argued that the exercise was marred by massive irregularities.
“There’re polling stations that have not voted while other experienced massive shortage of ballot papers,” Mruttu said.
“Chala ward (Taveta) was given roughly 700 ballot papers against 6,000 registered voters,” the outgoing county CEO argued.
Mruttu also states in that various wards in Taveta constituency were grossly disadvantaged claiming that he had been informed that primaries in affected wards would be repeated on Thursday.
“This morning (Wednesday), I was verbally informed that elections in these polling stations (Challa, Mahindikini, Kivukoni and Eldoro/Jipe) will be conducted tomorrow (Thursday). However I have since checked with the County Elections Board Chair who is completely unaware of such plans,” he reported.