, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 13 – The Electoral Code of Conduct Enforcement Committee is set to make several rulings Thursday afternoon on election disputes filed before them by different political candidates.
Hot on the menu is the dispute that pits two Migori County gubernatorial heavyweights; Orange Democratic Movement’s (ODM) Okoth Obado versus independent candidate Ochillo Ayacko.
According to the charge sheet presented before the committee, Obado has accused Ayacko of sponsoring violence against his supporters, defacing his campaign posters and using the Orange party colours and presidential candidate’s portrait yet he is an independent candidate.
“On June 30 after the NASA rally in Migori, Ayacko supporters undressed women wearing my T-Shirts and they went home bare-chested,” Obado complained before the committee.
Obado presented a witness who claimed that she was attacked by a group of goons wearing Ayacko’s T-Shirts and chanting his slogans.
“When the rally was over and we were going to park our caravan, we were attacked by a group of people wearing Ayacko’s T-Shirts. They pelted stones and one of them hit me with a blunt object,” claimed the witness.
Ayacko, however, hit back, painting the governor as the most violent in the county.
“Obado is the most violent governor. He has even been found guilty by his own party, ODM, and fined,” he claimed through his advocate.
“He knows that his popularity is dwindling, the only way for him to recover is to manufacture violence and accusations that are just rumours,” asserted Ayacko.
Another ruling that is expected to generate heat is the dispute between two Meru County Woman Representative Florence Kajuju of the Jubilee party and Kawira Mwangaza running as an independent candidate.
In the affidavit presented by Kibe Mungai, Kajuju’s advocate, she accused her opponent of using a TV station allegedly owned by her family – to air twisted versions of her words to gain political mileage.
“The respondent’s mother owns the station. The defendant’s husband is the lead broadcaster. The station’s premises are in the same building where the defendant lives,” Said Kajuju through her advocate.
Kawira said that she doest own any part of Mwangaza Advertiser Limited, the company that allegedly owns the TV that broadcasts in Kimeru.
“The respondent is neither a shareholder nor a director of the said company,” rebutted Kawira’s advocate.
The room burst into laughter when Kajuju’s lawyer claimed that the TV had twisted Kajuju words to imply that she derogatorily called Kawira’s cabbages as ‘tasteless’ and if Meru women ate them, they too would be tasteless.
“One of the twisted statement that was aired claimed that my client said that the cabbages supplied by Kawira are tasteless. That if the Meru women consumed them, they would be tasteless,” lamented Kajuju.
However, Kawira through her lawyer defended her client saying that the words were spoken at a public rally.he should have been mindful knowing that one word might mean something else in another dialect in Meru county.
“The issue of cabbage being tasteless was uttered in a political rally. Even the Citizen Weekly covered the story. It should not be left to politicians to decide which TV station will broadcast what,” complained Kawira.
Both candidates vied in the Jubilee primaries for the ticket with Kajuju, who is the incumbent emerging the winner.