Police, Ruto’s security meddled with Kirinyaga poll, says Karua
Senior security officers and Deputy President William Ruto’s office tampered with the Kirinyaga governor election, Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua said Tuesday.
Testifying in her petition at the High Court in Kerugoya, Ms Karua said security agents helped in commission of poll illegalities and irregularities.
She said a Mr Lelasang, who is a senior security officer in the office of the deputy president, and Mwea West OCPD Swaleh Kiptoo were among State officials who interfered with the election.
Ms Karua said the two held a meeting at Wang’uru Girls School tallying centre with Mwea constituency returning officer Julius Maingi and Ms Anne Waiguru’s running mate Peter Ndambiri in the afternoon of the election day.
“I confronted them and Mr Maingi admitted meeting Mr Ndambiri but said he only greeted him. I was shocked because security and electoral officers are supposed to be neutral,” the Narc Kenya boss said while being cross examined by her lawyer Charles Njuru Kihara.
Ms Karua added that ballot boxes of the governor election had broken seals yet the candidates’ agents were not around.
The court was told that Jubilee party officials campaigned for Ms Waiguru by bribing voters outside polling stations.
She cited Kang’aru Primary School polling centre “where I found a Jubilee official being driven around in a police vehicle while dishing out money to voters”.
“I asked the OCPD why he had surrendered his authority to a civilian and why the party official had not been arrested,” she said.
“I reported the incident to Deputy Inspector-General of Police Ben Kitili and to the county police commander.”
She added that the headteacher of Mutithi Primary School was bribing voters at the polling centre and campaigning for Ms Waiguru.
“Bribery and other electoral malpractices happened in full view of police officers. Ms Waiguru’s supporter, Wambui Ngengi, was bribing voters at St Joseph’s School. Her car was impounded and later released,” she said.
Ms Karua added that her agents were denied entry by presiding officers to 188 polling stations.
“There was a calculated plot to deny my agents access to polling stations across Kirinyaga. Some were allowed in later, long after voting had begun and they could not tell if there was ballot stuffing,” she said.
The court further heard that the election was marred by cheating, intimidation, forgery of ballot papers and breach of mandatory statutory and constitutional requirements in voting, counting, tallying and transmission of results.
She pleaded with the court to order for a fresh election and declare Ms Waiguru is unfit to run for the seat “for committing and aiding electoral offences”.
The hearing continues on April 17.