Campaign Tracker: Major events in Kenyan elections as of July 8

A campaign billboard for Azimio la Umajo One Presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Ms Martha Karua in Bomet town.

Photo credit: Vitalis Kimutai | Nation Media Group

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has revealed why he left President Uhuru Kenyatta’s camp and joined hands with Deputy President William Ruto in the run-up to the General Election. 

Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja will be on the ballot to defend his seat after the court declined to bar him from the race.

Ever heard of a running mate abandoning his boss for their rival? Well, it happened yesterday in Kisii.

Here is all you need to know about Kenya’s elections as of July 8.

Speaker Muturi reveals why he ditched Uhuru for Ruto

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi addresses members of the public during interdenominational thanksgiving prayers held at Kapsabet Showground in Nandi County on May 01, 2022.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi yesterday hit out at President Uhuru Kenyatta for backing Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

The Democratic Party (DP) leader said President Kenyatta's move is the reason he fell out with him politically though the two were long-time friends.

Mr Muturi told a campaign rally in Laikipia East that his conscience would not allow him to back Mr Odinga, who is being fronted by President Kenyatta only few years after the latter demonised him.

 “You all know that Mr Kenyatta told us that Mr Odinga is not fit to lead the country during the 2013 and 2017 presidential campaigns. The president has been my close friend for 25 years and I personally asked him why Mt Kenya voters should now back the Azimio la Umoja candidate and he did not give a satisfactory answer,” Mr Muturi said in Solio Village 4.

He urged Mt Kenya voters not to be deceived into voting for Mr Odinga, whose running mate is Ms Martha Karua, but instead elect Kenya Kwanza presidential candidate William Ruto.

Dr Ruto’s running mate, Mr Rigathi Gachagua, was expected to attend the campaign rallies in Ngobit, Tigithi and Thingithu wards in the constituency but skipped the events that were characterised by tension caused by sibling rivalry between supporters of The Service Party leader Mwangi Kiunjuri and candidates seeking seats under the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.

In all the three rallies in Makutano, Solio and Male villages, Mr Muturi had to plead with TSP supporters to give him a chance to address them, terming the shouting matches as “friendly fire”.

“We are all children of the same father and support Dr William Ruto. Please allow us to speak, otherwise in future we shall ask the aspirants to organise their own rallies,” warned the Speaker.

Kisii governor aspirant in trouble after running mate leaves him for his rival

Kisii gubernatorial candidate Manson Nyamweya (left) and Alfred Ndemo. Dr Ndemo has quit as Nyamweya's running mate in coming polls on the Kenya National Congress party.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

Former South Mugirango MP Manson Oyongo Nyamweya’s dream of becoming Kisii County governor has been thrown into disarray after his running mate abandoned him to join Simba Arati's team yesterday.

Dr Alfred Ndemo announced he had quit the ticket, potentially ending Mr Nyamweya’s ambitions of contesting the governor’s seat in the August elections.

But Mr Nyamweya insisted his deputy’s defection will not dampen his resolve to contest.

 “I will be on the ballot together with my deputy, Dr Ndemo. It is good that he left, but that does not stop me from campaigning and seeking votes,” he said.

“I will win this election. Legally, the defection holds no water. His name cannot be pulled out from the ballot as of now and I cannot replace him.”

Dr Ndemo made this surprise announcement in a meeting held at his Kitutu Chache North home and attended by Mr Arati and his team, among them Kitutu Chache MP Richard Onyonka.

Dr Ndemo said he had discovered that the Arati group was the winning team and that there was no way Mr Nyamweya or any other candidate would beat Mr Arati.

 “I, Alfred Ndemo, swear before God that I will be faithful to Arati's government-to-be and we will make our county great. God help Mr Arati to help win this election,” swore Dr Ndemo in what sounded like an oath of allegiance.

Dr Ndemo described the event at which he decamped from Mr Nyamweya’s Kenya National Congress party as the “Motonto Bogetutu declaration” and vowed to help campaign for votes for Mr Arati and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

Violence rears its head in Uasin Gishu a month to the August poll

Political intolerance is rearing its head in Uasin Gishu, a month before the General Election, with 10 people suffering injuries in a clash between two rival factions Tuesday evening.

Trouble started when Kenya Kwanza supporters on the campaign trail roughed up supporters of Ainabkoi MP William Chepkut, who is defending his seat as independent candidate, at Tendwa trading centre, some 20km from Eldoret.

Several of his supporters suffered injuries after the rival Kenya Kwanza faction descended on them with wooden batons and other crude weapons. Some were treated at local health centres.

Mr Kibiwott Kiplagat, one of the injured, said people in a convoy of vehicles arrived at the centre, considered a stronghold of Mr Chepkut, and instead of promoting the Kenya Kwanza manifesto, they descended on them, beating them with wooden batons.

“We all support different aspirants and as locals we do not have differences among ourselves but it was shocking when the convoy arrived here and those in the vehicles alighted and started beating us as they tore down all the campaign posters,” he said.

Mr Gideon Kipchumba, another local, said the county has been mapped as a violence hotspot and the beatings they received gives credence to the designation. He added that the violence was a form of intimidation to ensure the region elected only UDA leaders, which he said was an affront to democracy.

“This is a UDA zone and the presidential vote to Deputy President William Ruto is assured but what we shall not entertain is to be forced to vote in a certain manner. It is clear we were beaten to coerce us to back certain candidates we do not want,” he said.

Mr Kenedy Kipkoech, who was injured in his leg, said he was attacked because the assailants thought he would not attend their meeting.

However, Uasin Gishu UDA coordinator Paul Kiprop said no one had complained about the Tuesday evening incident and he could not comment on it.

Last week Uasin Gishu County Commissioner Stephen Kihara directed chiefs in the region to hold regular public meetings as part of election education and monitoring to assure pre-poll peace and unity.

Mr Kihara said the meetings would enable residents to ventilate their fears and complaints.

PNU members in Meru defy CS Munya, vow to support Kiraitu Murungi

Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi re-election bid got a major boost after some Party of National Unity (PNU) members threw their weight behind him.

More than 500 members from across the county said they were solidly behind Mr Murungi and pledged to rally their colleagues to vote for him.

PNU is led by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, Mr Murungi's arch-rival, who despite being in the same Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition has refused to endorse the governor.

Mr Munya’s close ally, East African Legislative Assembly member Mpuru Aburi, is campaigning for Ms Kawira Mwangaza (independent), who is seeking to dethrone Mr Murungi in the August 9 polls.

Also in the race is Senator Mithika Linturi, riding on the wave of Deputy President William Ruto's United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.

“We have resolved that for the sake of unity in Azimio we will vote for Kiraitu because he is the best suited to take Meru forward,” said Mr David Kinoti, the PNU county coordinator.

Mr Mugambi Imanyara, Azimio county coordinator and Devolution Empowerment Party (DEP) secretary-general, led the members in adopting key resolutions, including supporting Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga and Mr Murungi.

Mr Murungi expressed confidence that he would easily retain the seat with PNU members on his side.

“Bringing PNU on board has been my main challenge and in 2017 you are the ones who gave me sleepless nights. Now with you on my side, nobody will defeat me,” the governor said.

The declaration was also a boost to Mr Odinga's campaigns because members would rally Meru residents to vote for the former prime minister, Mr Murungi said.

Court Issues reprieve to Samboja who will now be in the ballot for governor seat

Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja

Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja will be on the ballot to defend his seat after the High Court in Mombasa yesterday declined to bar him from contesting in the August 9 polls.

Justice Njoki Mwangi ruled that Mr Samboja would be greatly prejudiced if he was stopped from defending his seat.

The judge noted that since the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had cleared him, the governor could now not be stopped by the court because the electoral body had verified his documents before clearing him.

 “Mr Samboja has been serving as a governor since 2017. Since he has been cleared by the IEBC, the assumption is that his documents are in order. It would be prejudicial to deny him his political rights,” said the judge.

The ruling paves the way for Mr Samboja’s name to be gazetted as the Jubilee Party candidate for Taita Taveta governor.

The case was filed by Mr Jeremia Kiwoi, who sought to block the governor from defending his seat and asked the court to issue orders blocking the IEBC from gazetting Mr Samboja’s name as the Jubilee candidate for the seat until his new petition was heard and determined.

The petitioner questioned Mr Samboja’s eligibility to contest the seat over his academic papers.

He claimed the governor has failed constitutional provisions on leadership and integrity and should be blocked from running for public office.

He alleged in court papers that the governor used fraudulent means to be cleared in 2017 and that his claim that he had graduated with a bachelor of commerce degree from Kenyatta University was a lie.

“It is clear that the degree was a forgery. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the university confirmed that he was not a student at the institution,” he said.

Justice Mwangi has directed the parties in the suit to file and serve their documents within the next three days.

The case will be heard on July 19

Vandalised Raila, Karua billboard reinstated a month later in Bomet

A campaign billboard for Azimio la Umajo One Presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Ms Martha Karua in Bomet town.

Photo credit: Vitalis Kimutai | Nation Media Group

A campaign billboard poster in Bomet town for Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua has been re-erected a month after it was torn apart by unknown people.

This comes a few days before Mr Odinga’s planned but unconfirmed tour of Bomet County starts. He is expected to attend a church service at Ndanai in Sotik constituency and later hold a public rally.

Mr Odinga has not visited Bomet since the 2017 General Election when he toured the region for campaign rallies.

The original billboard was found in tatters on the morning of June 3, two days after it was put up.

It was not clear whether the vandalism was the work of political goons or the sign was torn apart by fierce winds. No arrests were made in connection with the incident with questions being raised on the quality of the canvas bearing the photos of the two politicians.

A month later, the huge sign was re-erected at the same spot in the town, but had not been touched three days later.

It was also curious that signs for the other politicians, including Deputy President William Ruto, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) presidential candidate, and Governor Hillary Barchok, who is defending his seat under UDA, and his rival Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) party leader Isaac Ruto, were still intact.

The other presidential candidates – Agano party leader David Mwaure Wahiga and Prof George Wajackoyah of Roots Party – have not erected their campaign posters in Bomet.

Mr Joseph Ngeno, the Azimio team’s Bomet County coordinator, Ms Lilah Siele, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party Bomet Central parliamentary candidate, and Mr Michael Ngeno, ODM’s Chepalungu parliamentary flag-bearer separately expressed hope that the billboard would be protected.

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