Governor Ole Lenku defends win over Ruto man in Kajiado

Katoo Ole Metito Joseph Ole Lenku William Ruto

President William Ruto with Kajiado governor Joseph Ole Lenku (L) and State House Comptroller Katoo Ole Metito during a meeting at Olotiasika in Kajiado County in 2018.

Photo credit: File | DPPS

Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku on Tuesday told a court that he won the gubernatorial vote on August 9 fair and square and that the poll outcome was the true reflection of the people's will.

The governor said that he beat his closest challenger UDA’s Katoo Ole Metito –now State House Comptroller-- in three out of five constituencies and that his preferred presidential candidate Raila Odinga won the presidential vote in the county.

His sponsoring coalition Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya also won 12 out of 25 ward seats.

In cross-examination at the Kajiado election petition court Tuesday, Governor Lenku admitted that Mr Metito won the gubernatorial votes in his native Kajiado South Constituency as well as the urban Kajiado North Constituency.

"However, I cancelled (out) this by the overwhelming votes I got in the three Constituencies of Kajiado East, West and Central. My presidential candidate also won the county votes as well as winning three out of the five parliamentary seats," said the governor.

In cross-examination by the IEBC lead counsel Peter Wanyama, Mr Lenku revealed that he had agents in every polling station who were reporting to the constituency chief agents who then transmitted the results to the county chief agent based at the tallying centre in Kajiado town.

"I had a very functional tallying centre in Kajiado town and I personally monitored how the results were streaming in. I did not visit any polling station after voting at the Oloilalei polling station in Kajiado South. I went directly to the county tallying Centre," Lenku said.

Garnered 117,600 votes

According to the IEBC results, Mr Lenku garnered 117,600 votes with Mr Metito, his closest challenger polling 111,725 votes.

The Governor told Justice Janet Mulwa that during the voting period, he never received any reports or complaints of voter bribery or denial of access of any agents to any polling station.

"My Lady, as you can see, all these results from the polling stations have been signed by party agents. It was not possible to interfere with the results and I believe the election was fair, transparent and a true reflection of the will of the Kajiado people," said Mr Lenku.

The petitioner, Paul Kerempu, a teacher and former employee of the county government, has alleged irregularities in the election and claimed that UDA candidates were denied access to polling stations, especially in Kajiado South.

He also alleges voter bribery in the Kajiado North constituency.

The governor also rebuffed allegations that some county government employees were recruited as polling clerks by the IEBC even if they were not barred by law to act as such.

 "The IEBC is an independent body that recruits people who are qualified. Any Kenyan who is qualified can act as an IEBC official. We have no control and we don't influence the recruitment of such officers," the governor said.

Mr Metito, who was the initial petitioner, substituted himself with Mr Kerempu, one of his allies after he was appointed the State House Comptroller.

Mr Lenku is being represented by lawyers Mumo Matemu and Mayiani Sankale while Mr Kerempu is being represented by Brian Ondari.

Ms Mulwa gave a calender of the proceedings and said she will be ready to give the ruling within 30 days.

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