Uhuru performs dismally in Jubilee and Nasa turfs

Election officials return voting materials at Aga Khan High School, Nairobi, on October 27, 2017. There was poor voter turnout nationwide. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The reduced vote means that Mr Kenyatta, if he opts for talks, will be doing so from a very weak position.
  • Mr Balala blamed the poor turnout to threats by Nasa to hold demonstrations on election day.

President Uhuru Kenyatta performed dismally in many regions outside Jubilee strongholds despite high profile defections from the opposition.

The poor show at the coast, western and eastern regions were attributed mainly to the call by Nasa leader Raila Odinga to boycott the poll.

However, even in his own bases of central and Rift Valley, the president received fewer votes than he scored in the nullified August 8 election.

This may be a big blow as the president was keen to get a strong mandate to govern and possibly engage his rival Mr Odinga on the way out of the crisis the country faces.

The reduced vote means that Mr Kenyatta, if he opts for talks, will be doing so from a very weak position while Mr Odinga has been emboldened that a majority of voters heeded his boycott call.

At the coast, results announced by returning officers showed that President Kenyatta’s vote tally dropped considerably.

He netted 78,000 votes in Thursday’s polls in Mombasa, down from 90,000 in August.

In Mvita constituency, where Jubilee’s Mombasa pointmen Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and former gubernatorial candidates Suleiman Shahbal and Hassan Omar hail from, President Kenyatta got 18,107 votes compared to 22,272 in August.

Mr Balala blamed the poor turnout to threats by Nasa to hold demonstrations on election day.

Mr Philip Mbaji, a lecturer at the Technical University of Mombasa, said the residents heeded Mr Odinga’s call to boycott the Thursday vote.

“Unfortunately whatever Jubilee Party has done for Kilifi or Coast region such as appointments, major developments projects is unknown to the locals,” he noted.


In central Kenya, Mr Odinga’s withdrawal was a major factor in the low turnout.

But there were other factors like heavy rains and dispute among leaders and elders.

Senator John Kinyua admitted that the 77 and 78 per cent turnout for Laikipia East and Laikipia West respectively fell below the target.

Kirinyaga Central MP Wambugu Munene blamed rains and noted that many voters who live in other regions were unable to travel to their centres to vote.

Tigania West MP John Mutunga said the outcome was below his expectations.

“Meru voters had an average of 60 per cent turnout. Various factors including the weather and apathy affected the anticipated numbers,” Mr Mutunga said.

In Makueni where there were also defectors, the President got 18,396 votes, 8,000 less than what he received in August.

The story was the same in Kitui and Machakos where turnout was less than 30 per cent.


Voter turnout in Mandera was an average of 30 per cent due to what leaders termed as fights among parties and elders in the region campaigning for the President.

A former MP for Mandera East blamed the council of elders and the Economic Freedom Party (EFP) for voter apathy in the county.

“The elders and the EFP leadership was aggrieved in the August 8 elections and had an opportunity to prove that they can flex their muscles,” he said.

In Vihiga, the home county of Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi, only one person showed up at Mululu Primary School polling centre.

President Kenyatta got 19,000 votes in the county.

The President’s share of the vote in Bungoma, where former ODM MP Alfred Khang’ati defected, was about 11 per cent, down from 40 per cent.

Kakamega and Busia counties where Paul Otuoma and Ababu Namwamba defected to Jubilee posted even worse returns.

Reports by Mohamed Ahmed, Winnie Atieno, Mwangi Ndirangu, Nicholas Komu, Manase Otsialo, Alex Njeru, David Muchui, Ruth Mbula, Henry Nyarora, Vivere Nandiemo, Derick Luvega, , Geoffrey Rono, Magati Obebo and Abdimalik Hajir.


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