Amani National Congress(ANC) candidate for Kibra by-election, Eliud Owalo, has fired a shot towards the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission over allegations of voter bribery reported in the constituency.
Speaking on Sunday after a church service in the area, Owalo told the electoral body that there was no better time to redeem itself than now, specifically on the Kibra Race.
“What we are appealing for is a free and fair process devoid of extraneous issues like money changing hands.
As candidates, we have signed a code of conduct which we have sworn to abide by. I would like to urge the IEBC to ensure that the code of conduct is enforced to the latter,” said Owalo.
When asked whether he had faith in the IEBC, the ANC candidate said:” I believe it is an opportunity for IEBC to redeem its image. I believe this opportunity should not be lost by IEBC.”
However, Owalo expressed optimism that Kibra voters will choose their leader based on what they offer on matters of development rather than political handouts.
He claimed that the by-election will serve as a lesson to the nation that Kenyan politics is no longer the same.
“We need to use this Kibra race as Kenyans to adopt a paradigm shift to our politics.
From where I sit, I believe gone are days when voters will elect you because of money. We need to show the country that our democracy has matured,” added the ANC candidate.
Owalo is among 20 other seeking to clinch the seat from ODM party come November 7 when the election will be held.
As campaigns for Kibra by-election intensify, details of allegations of voter bribery and buying of electorates have emerged pitting Jubilee Party candidate McDonald Mariga and Deputy President William Ruto.
On Friday, the DP hosted a delegation of grassroots leaders from Kibra constituency to drum up support for Mariga at his Karen Residence, Nairobi.
Social media reports indicated that the meeting, apart from seeking the support of the attendees, aimed at bribing the Kibra residents.
One verified Twitter user, Lord Abraham Mutai, claimed that Kibra voters have been storming the DP’s residence to collect irregular daily payments linked to the Kibra race.
“Someone just sent me this photo taken outside William Ruto’s gate this morning. Kibra voters leaving DP’s Karen home after probably collecting daily payments. William Ruto is really corrupting our electoral system,” claimed Mutai.
Someone just sent me this photo taken outside William Ruto's gate this morning. Kibra Voters leaving DP’s Karen home after probably collecting daily payments. William Ruto is really corrupting our electoral system. pic.twitter.com/MGhQfEmrox
— Lord Abraham Mutai (@ItsMutai) October 4, 2019
Barely two days ago City Lawyer Donald Kipkorir also urged the IEBC and DCI to monitor the Kibra by-election over the election malpractice.
“IEBC & DCI need to monitor Kibra By-Elections closely. Elections Offences Of bribes, intimidation, threats & undue influence are in open display.
The corruption that is systemic & pervasive in Kenya is nurtured during elections … We must end political corruption,” he said.
IEBC & DCI need to monitor Kibra By-Elections closely …. Elections Offences Of bribes, intimidation, threats & undue influence are in open display ….. Corruption that is systemic & pervasive in Kenya is nurtured during elections … We must end political corruption.
— Donald B Kipkorir (@DonaldBKipkorir) October 4, 2019
According to sources who spoke to this writer on condition of anonymity, on various visits that they had made to the DP’s residence, they claimed each walked away with at least Ksh500.
Important to note, that the monies pocketed by the delegates were not verified as bribery or the usual ‘political token of appreciation.’
All these have emerged as mere allegations which haven’t been substantiated so far by the relevant bodies.