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Kiraitu allies floored in Meru Jubilee nominations

Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi (right) and Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi welcomes politician Kawira Mwangaza who has ditched Peter Munya’s Party of National Unity (PNU) for Jubilee Party. Mwangaza will now square out with Florence Kajuju in the JP primaries [PHOTO: PETER MUTHOMI/STANDARD]

A host of aspirants including a sitting MP aligned to Kikali (acronym for Kiraitu, Kawira, Linturi) were trounced in the highly competitive Jubilee Part primaries.

Woman representative Florence Kajuju edged out Baite TV owner Kawira Mwangaza in the Meru Jubilee Party nominations.

It was an unlucky turn of events for Ms Mwangaza who had replaced Ms Kajuju in the Kikali team after ditching Governor Peter Munya’s Party of National Unity (PNU).

Also on the losing streak was Igembe North MP Joseph M’Eruaki who was defeated by Maoka Maore and former Internal Security Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo who lost to Rahim Dawood.

Protests broke out at the county tallying centre at Meru High School immediately after Ms Kajuju was announced winner.

Mwangaza who had performed well in Imenti constituencies claimed massive rigging in Tigania West and other constituencies.

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The county returning officer declared that Kajuju garnered 131,349 votes against Mwangaza’s 119,246.

Elizabeth Kailemia, who moved to PNU despite having paid JP nomination fees, appeared on the ballot and came a distant third with 4,583 votes.

In South Imenti, Kajuju lost to Mwangaza after she polled 16,718 votes against the latter’s 35,165. In North Imenti, the incumbent also lost after garnering 9,396 against Mwangaza’s 18,313 votes.

As Kajuju and her supporters celebrated inside the hall, Mwangaza asked the returning officer Jacob Kithinji to openly acknowledge a complaint letter she had written about rigging in Tigania but the officer insisted the results were credible.

“There were three pastors among the nine officials overseeing the elections in the sub counties,” said Kithinji. “It shows elections were credible.”

Elsewhere, Igembe North MP Joseph M’Eruaki became the only of the three JP party MPs in the county to miss out on the Jubilee ticket.

The first term MP garnered 8,658 votes to lose in a three-man battle to former MP Maoka Maore who polled 13,115 votes.

In Igembe Central and North Imenti, incumbents Kubai Kiringo and Rahim Dawood weathered strong opposition to bag the JP ticket.

Rahim edged out former Interior Principal secretary Mutea Iringo.

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