Candidate arrested over allegations of voter buying
A parliamentary candidate for South Imenti Constituency was on Tuesday roughed up by a mob and later handed over to the police after being suspected of buying voters.
The Party of National Unity (PNU) candidate, Janeiro Gatangugi was said to have been arrested and taken to the Meru Gubernatorial Jubilee candidate, Senator Kiraitu Murungi’s home before police were called in to arrest him.
Gatangugi with another person were alleged to have been found with Identity Cards belonging to voters whom Kiraitu suspected had been bought.
Kiraitu said police were called in to arrest the PNU candidate who was then locked up at the Nkubu Police station.
He said the law should be followed to the letter and the suspect should be arraigned in court to face charges against an election malpractice.
“It is a very primitive way of trying to get elected through buying voters so that they do not vote,” regretted Kiraitu.
The Meru Governor, Peter Munya has termed the arrest of the two individuals as a form of intimidation against his supporters.
Munya denied that Gatangugi was arrested while buying voters.
“We have information that the candidate and our PNU coordinator was kidnapped at a carwash and taken to the senator’s home where he was beaten,” said Munya.
He has accused police of siding with his opponents lamenting that the candidate should have been taken to hospital before locking him up in the police cells.
He said he would not concede defeat based on the intimidations meted on his agents particularly in the South Imenti Constituency.
On his part, Kiraitu has exuded confidence of being the second governor of Meru County terming Munya’s claims as mere propaganda after sensing a defeat.
“The elections have been so peaceful. That has been our prayers during the campaign period,” stated Kiraitu during a press conference in Meru Town.
In Tigania West where Kiraitu’s running mate, Titus Ntuchiu cast his vote at Mwithanga, claims of voter buying were raised. There were reports of some candidates seeking various posts by bribing voters.
Ntuchiu however, maintained that they would form the next county government since they were assured of victory.
A number of polling stations visited indicated a high voter turnout with the process being seamless.
By Richard Muhambe