Allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga, and William Ruto are set to lock in the Bonchari parliamentary by-election tomorrow.
ODM candidate Pavel Oimeke and his counterpart, Teresa Bitutu, of UDA- a party associated with Ruto have already accused Jubilee candidate Zebedeo Opore of using security agencies to scuttle their campaigns
The two claim Uhuru’s party had resorted to using security agencies to intimidate other candidates’ campaign ahead of the by-election.
Police officers recently stormed Kisii governor James Ongwae’s home on Thursday night accusing him of holding an illegal political campaign.
Ongwae who claims was having tea with Senator Sam Ongeri and Woman Representative Janet Ong’era, in an address to journalists later, accused Jubilee of using security agencies against competitors.
“I am calling on President Uhuru Kenyatta to put a stop to this, elections come and go. Leaders are all transitory. Democratic institutions must be respected. 50 officers can not storm my house as if I am a wanted criminal,” Ongwae of ODM said quoted by the Standard Newspaper.
UDA and ODM jointly accused police of lobbying teargas canisters to campaigns run by ODM’s candidate Oimeke and Teresia Bitutu while Jubilee campaigns were heavily guarded.
“Police wielding guns, truncheons and teargas stalked the campaign entourage led by Kisii Woman Representative Janet Ong’era and dispersed at least four peaceful, town hall meetings,” ODM party secretary General Edwin Sifuna said.
In April, ODM and Jubilee locked horns after Raila’s camp declined the Jubilee party’s request to withdraw its candidate from the Bonchari by-election saying that it will field its candidate since Nyanza is ODM’s stronghold.
Later on, Raila’s outfit accused the state of a scheme to rig the Bonchari Parliamentary by-election in favor of Jubilee candidate Zebedeo Opore.
According to a letter by ODM executive director Oduor Ong’wen addressed to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the party protested the alleged use of state agencies to campaign for Jubilee contender.
“We wish to register our complaint with the commission following a series of well-calculated, planned and executed systemic activities by a section of the state’s administrative and security agencies, whose overall import is to adversely influence a free, fair and democratic electoral process,” the letter read in part.
The IEBC has cleared 13 candidates with analysts saying the race is between Oimeke, Opore, and Bitutu with the winner expected to serve for 13 months before next year’s General Election.
Keraa Mary Sally Otara (United Green Movement), Erick Oigo (National Reconstruction Alliance), David Ogega (Kenya Social Congress) and Margret Gesare Nyabuto (Maendeleo Chapchap) are some of the other candidates seeking for the seat.
Others include Kevin Mosomi (Party of Democracy Unity), Charles Mogaka (Progressive Party of Kenya), Jonah Ondieki (The New Democrats), Jeremiah Matagaro (Agano Party), Paul Matagaro (Mwangaza party) and Victor Omanwa (Party of Economic Democracy).