ODM’s Oimeke wins Bonchari seat amid campaigns marred with chaos

Momanyi Senior

Engineer Robert Pavel Obwoto Oimeke is the new Bonchari M.P elect in the just concluded mini polls in a fierce contest that attracted 13 candidates.

The former EPRA boss garnered 8,049 votes of the 26,526 total casted. Jubilee’s Opore came close in second position with 7,279 votes and UDA’s Teresa Bitutu was third with 6964 votes.

The New Democrat’s Onkendi Jonah Ondieki came distant fourth with 1,373 votes, Erick oigo, 1,169 votes, David Ogega 939 votes, Mary Keraa 161 votes, Charles Mogaka 143 votes, Margret Nyabuto 132 votes, Victor Omanwa 130 votes, Jeremiah Atancha 112 votes, Paul Matagaro 41 votes, Kevin Mosomi 33 votes in that order.

The by-election had an average voter turnout at 50.09% of the the total 52,955 registered voters in the Constituency.

ODM’s Oimeke casting his vote at Nyamare Primary School on 18th May 2021.

The poll turned out to be a fierce contest between the Kisii county government though its ODM candidate and the national government with their Jubilee aspirant as UDA’s Teresa Oroo- a widow to the late M.P  Oroo Oyioka demonstrated and confirmed women can face men in political contests especially in Gusii region.

The ODM party cried foul of intimidation, harassment  of their candidate  and arrests of their officers and supporters by police officers during and after the campaigns which led to the executive secretary Oduor Ong’wen writing to the IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati  seeking the electoral body to move to the Director of public prosecutions to investigate and prosecute persons perpetrating such offences.

Earlier on, armed police officers had stormed the Kisii County governor James Ongwae’s home where he had hosted Senator Prof. Sam Ongeri, Women Rep. Hon. Janet Ong’era and Homabay Women Rep. Hon. Dr. Pamela Odhiambo for dinner within the curfew hours and forced everyone out.

This led to governor Ongwae and other Kisii ODM leaders calling for a press conference to address the issue where they condemned those behind the ill acts on its members and supporters.

Addressing the press on Friday, accompanied by politicians in ODM Ongwae said police told him the raid took place because he was holding night campaign meetings for the Bonchari by-election.

Kisii Governor James Ongwae (in cap) addressing the media from Kisii flanked by Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri (Left) and ODM National Secretary General Edwin Sifuna (Right) where they accused police of intimidation.

Police say those holding such meetings are contravening guidelines for curbing the spread of Covid-19.

The authorities defended their action at Governor Ongwae’s home and said those who violate the law are dealt with legally.

According to the governor, however, officers stormed his house before the 10pm curfew and disrupted his dinner with friends who included Senator Sam Ongeri, Woman Representative Janet Ong’era and Migori’s Peris Odhiambo.

The ODM brigade claimed that the police efforts were meant to weaken their candidate, Pavel Oimeke, but vowed that they would not be intimidated.

On Wednesday, the UDA brigade led by Kandara MP Alice Wahome decried increased harassment by police, noting they were blocked by police while campaigning on Tuesday, tear-gassed and asked to stop their activities.

The United Democratic Alliance had also cited intimidation through its Secretary General, Veronica Maina where they urged their voters to come out to vote and safeguard their democracy.

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