Returning officers wait for verification of results in the Embakasi South by-election in Nairobi, yesterday. [Beverlyne Musili, Standard] ODM’s Irshard Sumra has conceded defeat in the Embakasi South Constituency by-election. Sumra congratulated Wiper’s Julius Mawathe who by 12am was leading with 4,450 votes. Sumra had garnered 1,901 votes.The ODM candidate said he was ready to work with the incoming MP.The inter-party rivalry between ODM and Wiper parties stalked marred the Friday’s by-election.
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By 9pm on Friday, results of13 out of 221 polling stations in Embakasi South constituency in Nairobi had been tallied.Wiper’s Julius Mawathe was taking a lead with 1,083 votes followed by ODM’s Sumra with 421 and Gorasia of DP with 22 votes. Twenty two votes were rejected. Other candidates in the race had less than ten votes with many having zero votes.Total registered voters are 150,314 but there was a significantly low turn out.Narrow roads with heavy human traffic leading to Chaminade Training Centre which is the tallying centre in Mukuru kwa Njenga is suspected to have slowed transportation of electoral materials.Despite having been united in the past under National Super Alliance (NASA), the mini poll set them apart during campaigns.
While Opposition leader Raila Odinga campaigned for Sumra, his Wiper counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka fronted Mawathe. The two candidates are the front-runners in the by-election.A total of 15 candidates are vying for the seat. Yesterday, Sumra and Mawathe blamed either side, citing voter intimidation and bribery.Mawathe cast his vote at 10am at a station in Imara Daima while Sumra voted at Mukuru Educational Centre.Both lamented the low voter turnout witnessed in the morning and past midday. Mawathe said some youth threatened his supporters against participating in the election.But Sumra, who was flanked by Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang’ and ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna, claimed there was voter bribery and that most presiding officers were Mawathe’s supporters.
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Sifuna and Kajwang’ also claimed security officers were partisan. “We showed police a person issuing bribes but they declined to arrest him, saying they needed direction from the OCPD,” said Sifuna.