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Aspirants demand refund of money spent in campaigns


Aspirants were left ruing wastage of resources worth millions of shillings in the wake of the cancelled Jubilee Party nominations.

The aspirants, who would now be required to dig deeper into their pockets to finance campaigns for the repeat exercise, say the rescheduling of the nominations has extra financial needs. Yesterday, former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru complained that aspirants lost their resources in an exercise that was not credible and which locked out majority of her supporters.

Tough contest

“Campaigns are a very expensive exercise and we have spent enormous amounts of resources moving up and down,” she said.

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, who is seeking to defend his seat, said he had encountered huge losses.

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“We used a lot of money to facilitate movement and set up campaign structures. I had to pay my agents for their involvement yesterday, yet the elections were not held and I will have to pay them again. We have to spend more money until the exercise is repeated,” he said.

Mandago, who is facing a tough contest from business magnate Bundotich Zedekiah Kiprop (Buzeki), said they now want the party’s National Elections Board (NEB) to prepare sufficiently and have the primaries conducted on Tuesday.

“We cannot afford to lose more resources. The greatest loss is that we cannot find such a huge turnout of voters like those that showed up on Friday, they need to bring the material in time,” he said.

Mandago’s campaign team had deployed 604 agents in every polling station across the county, according to an official.

David Lagat, an agent at one of the stations, said they were being paid between Sh1,000 and Sh3,000 according to the size of the polling station. With this amount, it means Mandago could have spent between Sh604,000 and Sh1,812,000 on agents alone.

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi said he had spent much of his resources last week ahead of the Wednesday evening campaign deadline.

Sudi acknowledged that the process of printing other ballot papers was not easy and expressed worry over the new nominations date. “It is a tough job to have all those ballot papers printed by Tuesday and transported to the polling stations. If it were in my powers, I would have called on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to briefly extend the April 26 deadline,” he said.

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Chuka Igambang’ombe MP Muthomi Njuki, who is eyeing the Tharaka Nithi governorship, said it was unfortunate that the exercise was cancelled despite the huge spending by aspirants.

“I don’t want to challenge the move to cancel the nominations since it affected aspirants across the board, but remember there are expenses that come with such exercises,” said Muthomi. Kieni MP Kanini Kega decried the blanket cancellation, saying nominations had gone on well in his constituency.

“A lot of resources were spent and although I don’t want to fault the party leadership, the exercise in Kieni was incident free. I had already won but I’m ready for a repeat exercise,” said Kanini.

Logistical problems

Ephraim Maina, who is eyeing the Nyeri senatorial seat, said he was ready for the repeat exercise. “We hope that everything will go on as scheduled without delay and logistical problems,” Maina said.

But an upset Maragwa MP Kamande Mwangi called the entire process a total sham, saying the party should compensate all aspirants for the loss occasioned by the cancellation.

Jubilee aspirants in Nyeri warned that they will leave the party if the officials do not take action against candidates found to have been involved in rigging the bungled primaries. The leaders singled out three of their rivals who they alleged had been involved in stuffing ballot boxes.

Nyeri Town parliamentary aspirant Duncan Mathenge demanded the use of an updated voters’ register.

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