Drama ensued at the Karuri High School main tallying centre after the Jubilee Party disputed the results of Thursday’s Kiambaa parliamentary by-election.
Agents of Jubilee candidate Kariri Njama claimed that the electoral commission had colluded with their competitors to rig the poll in favour of United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate John Njuguna Wanjiku.
They demanded a recount of votes at Muchanja and Kawaida polling stations, claiming that manipulation had happened.
“A recount in those two polling stations must happen. The returning officer is not listening to us. We are demanding accountability in this election,” the agents shouted.
When they saw no one was paying attention to them, they tried to confront election officials. However, they were stopped by the police.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has yet to officially declare the winner in the hotly contested by-election, but results show that Wanjiku has floored Njama, with a margin of at least 500 votes.
This was the first contest where President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, were openly backing different candidates in an election.
The Jubilee loss deals the President a major blow, as he wanted to use the race to stamp his authority on his Mt Kenya turf, especially after his party was defeated in the recent Juja parliamentary by-election.
The UDA victory could be interpreted to mean that the Head of State has lost ground to the DP, who is keen to succeed him next year.
The two leaders have been growing apart since 2018, when the President brokered a political truce with ODM leader Raila Odinga.