By Victor Muyakane
William Baraka Mtengo of the Opposition party Orange Democratic Movement ODM has taken the Malindi parliamentary seat after a furious battle, beating Jubilee Alliance Party’s Philip Charo.
Mtengo garnered 15,582 votes to Charo’s 9,243 votes to win the parliamentary seat.
The by-election, which came about as a result of the appointment of immediate former MP Dan Kazungu to the position of Mining Cabinet Secretary, has seen the toughest yet clash of wills between JAP and ODM.
The by-election has also seen several controversies emerging; chief among them was various allegations of claims of voter bribery and other electoral malpractices emanating from and aimed at both parties.
Things came to a head with the arrest of ODM Director of Communications Philip Etale, Mwea MP Peter Gitau and Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu over alleged election malpractices.
Etale was arrested in an early morning raid at his hotel room by police, on suspicion of having bought voters cards and identification cards for the alleged use in election malpractice.
He has since been released on a 30,000 shilling bond.
Gitau and Waititu were arrested over allegations of voter bribery.
Long considered an ODM stronghold, Malindi saw an unprecedented show of might from the ruling Jubilee side as they fought to dislodge ODM’s dominance in the vote rich but underdeveloped region.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale were among top leadership in jubilee that made several campaign trips to the area.
CORD’s top leadership led by coalition leader Raila Odinga, co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula pushed back, asserting their party’s dominance over the region.
Mtengo easily won with a significant lead, ahead of Charo and other candidates who included Attas Shariff Ali of LPK who garnered 1,547 votes, Kadu Asili’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.