IEBC suspends vote tallying in Kiambaa as chaos erupts

Chaos at Karuri High School tallying center as Jubilee candidate Njama alleges rigging

Vote tallying in Kiambaa constituency mini-poll was suspended early Friday after Jubilee candidate Kariri Njama and his supporters alleged that the ballots are being rigged in favour of UDA candidate Njuguna Wanjiku. 

The chaos erupted after Mr Wanjiku made an early lead with 21,401 against his closest rival Mr Njama who had 21,057 votes.

Chaos erupts at tallying hall in Kiambaa by-election

Mr Njama and his supporters were early Friday pushing the Kiambaa Returning Officer Peter Muigai to order a recount in Kawaida and Muchatha polling stations. They claimed vote tallying in these two centres was flawed.

Njama Wainaina

Jubilee party candidate for Kiambaa Parliamentary by-election Njama Wainaina with politician  Damaris Waiganjo at the Karuri High School tallying centre on July 16, 2021.

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

‘’We want a recount in Kawaida and Muchatha,’’ supporters of Mr Njama shouted as they engaged the police and IEBC officials in a shouting match.

John Njuguna Wanjiku

UDA candidate in the Kiambaa Parliamentary by-election John Njuguna Wanjiku at Karuri High School tallying centre on July 16,2021.

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

Meanwhile, in Muguga Ward by-election, Jubilee candidate Githinji Mung’ara floored UDA candidate Kamau Thumbi in a very tight race.

Mr Mung’ara got 4,089 votes against Thumbi who secured 4,062 in all 29 polling stations, according to official results announced by IEBC Returning Officer in the ward Mr Evans Githinji.

Muguga Ward had 18,374 registered voters and four aspirants.

Both Kiambaa seat and Muguga ward seat fell vacant early this year after Kiambaa legislator Paul Koinange and Muguga Ward Rep Eliud Ngugi succumbed to Covid-19 related complications.

Both Muguga and Kiambaa by-election were touted as a face-off between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto who were campaigning for rival candidates.

Mr Kenyatta has been campaigning for a Jubilee candidate while Mr Ruto has been rooting for a UDA candidate.

For now, police are still keeping watch at Karuri tallying centre with no one allowed to get in or outside the tallying centre.

Before the chaos broke out at Karuri High School, the tallying centre, 152 polling stations out of the 154 had already had their votes announced.