Vote tallying for the Juja parliamentary by-elections resumed after it was halted on Tuesday night when political leaders accompanied by goons invaded the main tallying centre at Mangu High School.
Before the disruption, the Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria’s candidate George Koimburi who vied on People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) was leading in the votes tallied during the time, against Jubilee candidate Susan Njeri Waititu.
However, at around 10A.M, Njeri and her supporters walked out of the tallying centre protesting over rigging claims by IEBC.
She said she will not accept the result of the exercise and called for fresh counting and tallying of the votes.
Eleven candidates contested in the exercise that was conducted yesterday amid low voter turn-out. They are set to replace former MP Francis Munyua Waititu who succumbed to brain cancer in February.
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chair Wafula Chebukati who visited the tallying centre early Wednesday to monitor the situation said anyone who was involved in the disruptions will be dealt with accordingly.
He said the commission will write to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in attempts to have those who disrupted the tallying process prosecuted.
He said they will be waiting for the final investigations report from the police and IEBC team and will be making further statements on the matter in the course of the week.
He said the commission was justified to halt the tallying process in order to secure the voting materials from goons, and assured the candidates and Juja residents of the safety of the materials.
“Fortunately, the IEBC staff had completed counting and all Form 35As had already been filled, completed and signed appropriately. After consultations with security officers, we have agreed to resume vote counting amid heightened security to ensure people of Juja get the rightful winner,” he said.
He dismissed those claiming that the votes were manipulated, saying there were no gaps to allow rigging.
He added that they have records of the number of people who voted from their Kiems kit and serialized ballot papers and counterfoils.
“So, anyone who thinks they can introduce foreign papers in the polling station is a total waste of time and I want to assure you that the commission is committed to having the will of the people of Juja and any part of the country be respected,” said Chebukati.
He was accompanied by Kiambu County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga who assured candidates and Juja residents that security had been beefed up to ensure tallying is completed on time.
“We cannot tally forever. We need to complete this process and do other businesses. Those not accredited for the by-elections will be prohibited from getting into the tallying center in order to avoid incidences of goons infiltrating the tallying center,” said Wanyanga.
The tallying exercise was halted after chaos erupted in the tallying centre at around 10.30 pm after leaders led by Kiambu Governor James Nyoro protested against the results.