Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate has won Kiagu Ward by-election in Meru County.

Mr Simon Kiambi Ngaruni won the mini-poll after garnering 2,440 votes to beat Chama Cha Kazi’s Milton Mwenda who got 1,823 votes. Jubilee Party’s Samson Kinyua came third on 1, 609 votes.

Kiagu Ward returning officer Pamela Karimi declared Mr Kiambi the winner of the ward representative seat. Mr Kiambi, who was accompanied by Meru Senator Mithika Linturi and Central Imenti MP Moses Kirima was overjoyed as he received his certificate.

“I welcome my opponents to join me in working towards a better Kiagu,” Mr Kiambi said.

Senator Linturi said UDA’s victory was a sign that the Mt Kenya region was solidly behind the deputy president.

“Meru people are behind the deputy president, we laud the IEBC for overseeing a free, fair and credible election. This affirms our faith in the commission even as we approach 2022,” Mr Linturi said.

During the campaigns, Mr Linturi had said UDA would win the by-election since more than 6,000 out of 11,000 registered voters were party members.

Massive support

“It is clear that UDA is the party to beat in Meru. We believe we will win just as we did in London Ward, Rurii ward, Juja and Kiambaa constituencies,” Mr Linturi said earlier.

UDA’s victory was buoyed by an aggressive party membership registration drive that was ongoing even before the by-election was declared by the IEBC.

The UDA candidate got massive support from across the ward while Mr Mwenda and Mr Kinyua got a bigger chunk of the votes from their backyards.

Jubilee Party had a false start in the race after local leadership, including Governor Kiraitu Murungi, kept off the campaign.

The ruling party’s Meru branch secretary Alhaji Mwendia had vowed to campaign against the Jubilee candidate citing failure by the national leadership to involve local leaders.

However, Mr Kinyua got backing from Agriculture CS Peter Munya who even took part in the campaigns.

CCK party leader Moses Kuria, who is hospitalised in Dubai, took to his Facebook page to concede defeat while celebrating his party’s performance in the by-election.

Low voter turnout

“For a party that was registered on 17th August 2021, we have done very well. For three months that I have been in a hospital bed till now, you have demonstrated that you believe in our Kazi Na Pesa message of jobs creation and entrepreneurship. You have demonstrated that were not a regional party, an ethnic party nor a small party. We deserve respect …” the Gatundu South MP stated.

Voting in Kiagu went on smoothly despite low voter turnout and complaints of names of some voters missing from the register.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) cited the heavy rains for the low turnout.

Mr Phineas Mukaba, a voter at Kiija polling station said he could not vote despite having voted in the 2017 election.

“The BVR kit could not detect my finger prints and my ID could not be identified by the system. I have been turned away despite having voted here in 2017,” Mr Mukaba said.

Sourced from Nation.

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