The Star (Nairobi)

22 January 2013

Kenya: I Was Rigged Out of the Governor Race, Says Ex-Pc

Former North Eastern PC Maurice Makhanu has blamed his loss of the UDF ticket for Bungoma county governor on rigging. Makhanu said he garnered 456 votes against journalist Wabwoba Walinywa's 75 in the primary.

He said election officials held "day-long consultations" in a bar while the UDF offices were closed. "How can a bar be turned into a tallying centre secretly and some candidates kept in the dark about what election officials were doing with opposing politicians? Makhanu said.

He told a news conference in Bungoma Town yesterday: "I want the UDF party leadership and national elections board chaired by Abraham Limo to see sense.

I am not defecting because of this blatant rigging courtesy of corrupt election officials who received cash incentives from certain political opponents to ensure we present a weak candidate."

The former administrator who once served as Bumula MP said the political leaders behind the scheme to rig him out were from outside UDF. "They are from competing political parties and wanted a weaker candidate so that a certain individual sails through easily," he said.

Those in the race for Bungoma governor include ex-PS Ken Lusaka of New Ford Kenya, Ambassador Jack Tumwa of Ford Kenya, Internal Security assistant minister Alfred Khang'ati of ODM, former Treasury deputy secretary Cosmas Barasa and Walinywa.

Makhanu said he will support DPM Musalia Mudavadi's bid for the presidency on the Amani coalition ticket. "We are steadfast in our support for Mudavadi and will not waver despite this unfortunate development which I have chosen to put in the public domain to avoid a repeat in future".

He suggested that in order to avoid fraudulent, chaotic election primaries in future, IEBC should be contracted by political parties to oversee the process altogether to ensure transparent, free and fair elections of leaders on merit.

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