ODM’s Mtengo beats Jubilee’s Charo to become Malindi MP
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has retaken the Malindi Parliamentary seat after its candidate William Baraka Mtengo floored Jubilee’s Philip Charo to emerge winner.
Mtengo garnered 15,582 votes against Charo’s 9,243 to win the parliamentary seat.
The by-election, necessitated by the appointment of ODM member Dan Kazungu as Mining Cabinet Secretary, made the coastal town a political frontier for months with both CORD coalition and Jubilee setting up campaigns in the region in a hunt for votes.
Top Jubilee leaders including President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale held several campaigns in the constituency to fight off the apparent overwhelming influence that ODM enjoys in the region.
CORD’s top brass led by coalition leader Raila Odinga, co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula led the opposition’s onslaught as they sought to retain the seat.
Mtengo enjoyed the lead from the beginning of vote counting process to the end.
The seat had attracted seven candidates, two of whom later dropped out of the race to support Jubilee’s Charo.
The Malindi by-election was marred by claims of voter bribery and other electoral malpractices with ODM Director of Communications Philip Etale, Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu and his Mwea counterpart Peter Gitau being arrested.
Early Monday, CORD leader Raila Odinga, who is in Israel, had directed Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama and his Siaya counterpart James Orengo to take charge of Etale’s case and secure his release.
He claimed that the government had resorted to influence the outcome of the elections through blackmail and arm-twisting of the opposition calling on coalition legislators to be vigil during the electioneering process.
He urged the coalition MPs to report to and remain at designated polling stations in Malindi to prevent any cases of rigging.
Waititu and Gitau were arrested Monday morning over claims of bribing voters while Etale was arrested a 3am on Monday for allegedly buying voters cards and ID cards.
Etale was released Monday evening on a Ksh 30,000 cash bail while Waititu was released on a free bond.
The other candidates in the race included Attas Shariff Ali of LPK who garnered 1,547 votes, Kadu Asil’s Reuben Mwamure Katana (353), SPK’s David Mangi Kithunga (68), FPK’s Nelson Gunga Benjamin (35) and Peter Ponda Kadzeha of CCU who garnered 26 votes.
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