23 January 2013

Kenya: It's Wambui for Othaya Ticket - TNA

Nairobi — The National Alliance (TNA) party has finally agreed to nominate Mary Wambui for the Othaya parliamentary seat.

Wambui who had been issued with a certificate after the nomination exercise protested on Tuesday that her name was missing from the final list presented to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

TNA chairman Johnson Sakaja says the decision to nominate Wambui was reached after a dispute lodged by her main rival Mugambi Gichuki was resolved.

The statement said they arrived at the decision after considering all the evidence adduced by the challenger and Wambui. The TNA tribunal led by Faith Waigwa also considered independent testimonies from the returning officer, vote tallying personnel, observers, reports from the media and voters.

"The tribunal found that the nomination was not impaired by any irregularities that would otherwise render it a nullity or cast doubts on the veracity of the results," Sakaja said.

"Accordingly, Gichuki Mugambi's application was dismissed with no order as to costs with a right to further appeal, of which he didn't initiate," read a statement from the party.

Gichuki had argued that he was the bonafide winner of the hotly contested nomination, sparking protests in Othaya.

Wambui subsequently lodged a complaint with the IEBC's disputes resolution committee which has postponed its sittings to Thursday.

She claimed that there were forces behind her removal from the list, saying that the will of the Othaya people must be respected.

Gichuki contested the results saying that Wambui had exclusively recruited members to the electoral board that would oversee the nomination process and that she, through her agents, forged a resignation letter dated the January 15 and addressed to the Registrar of Political Parties alleging that he had resigned from the TNA party.

A group of Wambui's supporters on Tuesday engaged police in running battles in Othaya after news filtered that her name was missing from the TNA list.

Mugambi further claimed that Wambui's drivers compromised the presiding and returning officers and that an aspirant by the name of Mitei had entered into a memorandum of understanding with Wambui to 'sell' his votes to her.

The National Alliance party has so far denied claims that it expunged Wambui's name from the list of nominees submitted to the Registrar of Political Parties.

TNA stated that Wambui won the nominations last Saturday which saw her declared winner with 13,050 votes against Mugambi's 10,080 votes.

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