In a statement on Thursday, March 17, UDA National Election Board (NEB) Chairperson Anthony Mwaura said President Uhuru’s administration has been coercing UDA aspirants in some parts of Mt Kenya region, Kisii and Nyamira counties to quit UDA and join the ruling outfit.
“The UDA has noted with concerns the dismay the underhand illegal tactics being displayed by the depleted and desperate Jubilee party through government agencies to dissuade our aspirants from contesting in the August elections,
“Several UDA MCA aspirants from Kirinyaga have been called and coerced to join the (Jubilee) party. They have been promised money and logistical support,” Mwaura said.
“…we have seen coordinated harassments of UDA aspirants for gubernatorial, senate, Women Representative and Member of County Assembly positions,” Mwaura said.
He further claimed that the intimidation has taken the form of arrests, accusations of tax evasion, trumped-up criminal charges, and the use of fake opinion polls.
The party pointed out to one time personal assistant to Interior CS Karanja Kibicho, one Arister Murimi, who is now a state officer as a commissioner at the National Land Commission as the mastermind to the intimidation efforts.
According to Mwaura, the duo has told UDA spirants that there will be widespread state-orchestrated violence during UDA nominations in President Uhuru’s Mt Kenya region and therefore it was in the aspirant’s interests to decamp to Jubilee.
He cited an incident in which Kirinyaga county majority leader Kamau Murango was arrested from his Embu home, driven to Nairobi DCI headquarters, and questioned up to 2 am the following day.
“Police were later to tell him to switch his political side to Jubilee Party so that his tribulations could end, a request he declined, and consequently he was asked to be reporting to DCI headquarters once a week,” he said.