David Gikaria secures third term as Nakuru East MP

Nakuru East MP David Gikaria (Middle, in a cap) celebrating at the Kenya Industrial Training Institute Nakuru.

Photo credit: Richard Maosi | Nation Media Group

Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria Wairimu has secured a third term after winning the tightly contested parliamentary race.

Mr Gikaria, who vied under the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), garnered 30,180 votes to retain his seat for the second consecutive time.

Constituency returning officer Peter Ndirangu said the race had attracted 14 candidates, slowing down tallying.

His closest competitor, county assembly Speaker Joel Kairu (Jubilee) trailed him with 25,965 votes.

Former Nakuru mayor Benson Mwangi Wangai came in fourth with 4,696 votes, behind Mr Julius Wainaina.

Mr Gikaria, also a former Nakuru mayor, was first elected to Parliament in 2013 under the The National Alliance party.

He successfully defended the seat in 2017 before switching to Deputy President William Ruto's UDA and won the party's ticket in the April nominations.

The legislator, known for courting controversy, was arrested on August 9 for allegedly assaulting an MCA candidate and causing violence at the Lanet and Naka polling stations.

He spent the night in cells at the Nakuru Central Police Station before he was freed the following day on police cash bail.

His win raised to eight the number of MP seats won by UDA in Nakuru County, including Njoro, Kuresoi North and Kuresoi South, Gilgil, Subukia, Naivasha and Molo.

Bahati and Nakuru West constituencies were won by Jubilee.

Speaking after receiving his election certificate, Mr Gikaria thanked the party and supporters for the election that he said was free and fair.

“I am grateful for yet another chance to serve the people of Nakuru East. In a competition, there is always the winning team and the losing team,” he said.

“I’d like to tell my competitors that we can work together as a team to make Nakuru a better place for all of us. I also urge you to maintain peace during this period.”

In the 2017 last elections, Mr Gikaria won the seat with 58,964 votes under Jubilee.

“The voter turnout was good and I appreciate the citizens for coming to vote. This is a win for UDA. We have been praying and putting a lot of effort on the ground,” he said.

“The election process was free, fair, verifiable and very transparent. I also want to say that IEBC has conducted a transparent election and I would like to commend them on that.”

He extended an olive branch to his losing rivals, urging them to concede defeat and join him in serving residents.

"I want to urge my competitors to put behind the differences and join me in serving our people," he said.

Mr Gikaria took the lead despite allegations that he had assaulted and injured a voter on election day. He was arrested after the chaos and released on 50,000 cash bail after spending the night behind bars.

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