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Drama as Wambui storms IEBC offices after TNA withdrew her nomination for Othaya MP Post

Splash+pxBusinesswoman Mary Wambui on Tuesday sensationally led an invasion of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) offices at Annniversary Towers late in the evening.

The aspirant for the Othaya MP’s seat had in tow three outgoing MPs — Ms Rachel Shebesh, Cecily Mbarire and Njoroge Baiya.

They staged a sit-in the boardroom for close to three hours, from 9:00pm to midnight, demanding to be addressed by officials of the electoral body.

The three MPs – Githunguri’s Njoroge Baiya, Runyenjes’ Cecily Mbarire and TNA nominee for women’s representative in Nairobi Rachel Shebesh – accompanied Ms Wambui to complain that her name had allegedly been removed from the list of TNA nominees for the Othaya MP seat even after she had been informed by an unnamed source that her name had all along been on the list upto 4:00pm.

“I had confirmed with TNA hq that my name was in the list by 4:00pm, but I later discovered from sources in IEBC that my name had been omitted and the certificate awarded to my opponent,” she said.

Ms Shebesh said that IEBC officials should be aware that the there are heavy penalties involved in the Elections Act, which was enacted to curb fraud which had occurred in the last elections.

In the event that any of them is found to have flouted any of these rules, she added, then they would go to jail.

Dozens of supporters of Mr Baiya and Ms Wambui, camped on the 21st floor where the IEBC offices are located and only left after their leaders had issued their last statement.

Earlier efforts to have them vacate government offices were met with resistance as the fiery Ms Shebesh insisted that they first be addressed by an IEBC commissioner.

She  said that she and her colleagues had camped at the IEBC offices before midnight so that the matter can be out of their hands in good time and to beat the deadline for handing over the  list  of nominees to the electoral body.

Earlier, Ms Wambui accused powerful forces in government of blocking her from succeeding President Kibaki as MP for Othaya.

Her daughter, Ms Winnie Wangui, accused Mr Jimmy Kibaki, the President’s son, of being among those intent on blocking her mother’s election.

The National Alliance reportedly withdrew her nomination following a successful petition by her rival, Mr Gichuki Mugambi.

Mr Mugambi says he has been issued with a nomination certificate after a determination in his favour by the TNA dispute resolution team.

Mr Jimmy Kibaki denied Ms Wangui’s allegations, saying that it was not in his character to intimidate people.

“I do not want my name to be dragged into the Othaya nomination dispute… the Othaya people know that it is not and has never been my style to intimidate anyone,” he told the Nation.

And in a statement last night, TNA chairman Johnson Sakaja said Ms Wambui won the January 20 nominations and “has not been denied a certificate.”

However, Mr Mugambi filed an appeal which is still pending, he said, adding that the party’s disputes team had reversed the results of seven seats.
At a news conference at their Lavington home on Tuesday, Ms Wambui and her daughter blamed “powerful forces”. She said she would go to court.

Ms Wambui said she was issued with an interim certificate on being declared the winner on January 19 and told to go for the original certificate in Nairobi.

“The people of Othaya spoke, and they chose me and their will should be respected. I even greeted my opponent and we agreed to work together. Unfortunately, I later learnt that he had been given the certificate.”

She asserted: “There are powerful forces who do not want me to become MP for Othaya.”

Ms Wangui claimed that the President’s son was among the people her mother was referring to. “There are other forces working with him to make sure Mama does not get the certificate,” she said.

Mother and daughter appealed to TNA leader and Jubilee presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene, saying he had always said everyone would be given a chance to participate in a free and fair nomination.

The controversial businesswoman said she would seek the intervention of the courts as a last resort.

Mr Mugambi told the Nation on Tuesday that he was given the ticket after successfully lodging a dispute citing massive irregularities during the nominations which saw Ms Wambui declared winner with 13,000 votes against his 10,000.

He said he complained of, among other things, irregularities in the polls, immediately after the controversial and influential businesswoman was announced the winner in the chaotic TNA primaries.

“I received the certificate yesterday (Monday),” Mr Mugambi said, but declined to go into details of the dispute.

Ms Wambui said she was not called before the dispute board for a hearing.

There has been bitter rivalry between Mr Mugambi, the chairman of the Othaya Development Association, and Ms Wambui since December when Jimmy announced publicly that the former was his father’s preferred candidate.

TNA secretary-general Onyango Oloo said the party had cleared all complaints and expected to forward them to the electoral commission.

“We have acted on the recommendations of the Disputes Resolution Board which has overturned certain decisions and confirmed others,” he said at the Laico Regency.

ODM has also had its fair share of controversy related to the party primaries after Ms Ruth Odhiambo Odinga, the sister of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, withdrew from the Kisumu gubernatorial race following protests.

Dr Oburu Oginga, another member of the Odinga family, was disqualified alongside his rival for the Siaya governor race.-Nation

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