Malindi Member of Parliament Aisha Jumwa claims that the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party is plotting a scheme to rig the October 17 Ganda ward by-election.
She has pointed fingers a senior ODM official in Mombasa and a party youth leader in Nairobi, who she claims were planning to hire goons from the two cities to cause chaos during the mini poll with a view to scaring away voters.
Speaking at the Msabaha grounds during a campaign rally in favour of independent candidate Abdulrahman Omar Thursday, Ms Jumwa asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct the by-election professionally.
She alleged that the Mombasa ODM official had been seen several times with IEBC officials in Malindi and there were fears he was planning to influence the officials to rig the election.
“I urge the IEBC to be professional and ensure that the mistakes that led to the nullification of Omar’s victory are not repeated,” she told hundreds of supporters who turned up for the campaign rally, only seven days to the mini poll.
“We are aware of plans by ODM to cause chaos during the by-election with a view to influencing the exercise,” she claimed adding, “That is why ODM supporters are already chest-thumping about a possible victory because of a scheme by the officials to rig the poll.”
Earlier, some youth believed to be from the ODM camp attempted to disrupt the rally but police and Jumwa’s supporters repulsed them. Three young men were arrested and detained in a police van till the rally was over despite a spirited effort by some people believed to be ODM officials in Malindi to have them released.
Jumwa condemned the act of hooliganism and asked her supporters not to be scared by such moves as there were clear signs that their rivals had sensed defeat.
“As you have seen, ODM has no agenda for the people of Ganda ward because it is a team composed of outsiders. I urge Omar’s supporters not to be scared because our youth will be there to provide security,” she added.
On his part, Omar urged voters to re-elect him to complete development projects he initiated during his two years as their Member of County Assembly (MCA).
He said that the orange party crucified him for supporting Jumwa, forcing him to vie for re-election as an independent candidate. This, he said, was due to his support for the embattled Jumwa, who is considered a rebel for supporting Deputy President Dr William Ruto’s 2022 Presidential bid.
“I decided to run as an independent candidate after the party tried to coerce me to dump Jumwa and insult her,” he told his supporters, most of them women adorned in white headscarves, with the name Omar inscribed on it.
Omar is the only one among the four candidates that has been holding rallies, with the others opting for door-to-door campaigns.
Jumwa has vowed to ensure that Omar recaptures the seat and embarrass ODM, the party that sponsored her to Parliament, for allegedly persecuting her due to her support for the DP.