Mwakwere triumphs in Matuga

PNU candidate Ali Chirau Mwakwere celebrates victory in the Matuga by elections with Kibwezi MP Philip Kaloki (right) and his Kangundo counterpart Johnstone Muthama (left) at the government training centre in Matuga Monday night. Photo/ LABAN WALLOGA

Monday night was triumphant for former Transport Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere after Matuga voters handed him a new mandate to be their Member of Parliament.

The Party of National Unity (PNU) candidate handed his opponents a convincing victory in the Matuga by-elections occasioned after he lost an election petition.

Final results announced by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) saw Mr Mwakwere garnering a total of 16,350 votes.

His closest opponent, Mr Hassan Mwanyoha of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), managed 10,887.

United Democratic Movement (UDM) candidate Kassim Tandaza garnered 5,165 while Isaack Mutula of the Labour Party of Kenya (LPK) got 134 votes.

The largely peaceful campaigns took a violent turn on the eve of the voting when a councillor was shot in the leg and his colleagues beaten up by an unknown group as they traversed the constituency.

The early morning shooting occurred at Kombani, a junction on the Mombasa- Lunga Lunga road.

A four-wheel drive vehicle in which Mr Peter Ponda, the former Malindi County Council chairman and four others were travelling, was set ablaze in the 2am attack.

With his return to Parliament, Mr Mwakwere could resume his ministerial posting given that there is no substantive Transport minister.

President Kibaki appointed Trade minister Amos Kimunya as Transport minister in an acting capacity but this could change with Mr Mwakwere's election.