Meeting to pick Jubilee elections board aborts after chaos erupt

Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria’s vehicle forced its way into the Murang’a Teachers’ Training College during Jubilee Party meeting to select elections board. [PHOTO:BONIFACE GIKANDI/Standard]

Jubilee Party was on Saturday forced to stop the selection of a nine-member election board for Murang’a County when the exercise became chaotic.

What was expected to be a peaceful exercise at the Murang’a Teachers’ Training College descended into chaos after Governor Mwangi Wairia’s supporters stormed the venue and rejected the officials deployed to oversee the selection.

Wairia’s supporters removed spikes placed by police officers and overpowered the security personnel at the gate to gain entry into the college. Other aspirants, who included Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau, walked into the venue.

At one point, Wairia defied a police order to walk out of the venue. This prompted the officers to lob teargas canisters to disperse him and his supporters.

His body guards then whisked him away to his vehicle as hundreds of his supporters engaged police in running battles.

Police say one of Wairia’s bodyguards drew a gun and threatened to shoot when they asked the governor to step out of his vehicle.

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The battle for political supremacy between Wairia and Kamau played out as their supporters clashed.

Kamau was in support of the selection process, while Wairia said it was marred by irregularities and would undermine the integrity of the party.

There was confusion over the venue of the meeting and Wairia questioned the absence of Murang’a County JP interim chairman Simon Kamau, accusing the party of keeping key details of the process secret.

Backed by Kangema MP Tiras Ngahu, the governor accused the party of failing to notify members of the venue. “Why hurry the process yet not all the aspirants were aware of the meeting?” he asked. He said the selection could also not proceed in the absence of Simon.

Kamau, on the other hand, accused his rival of sabotaging the exercise by allowing his supporters into the venue.

Leah Ntimama, who was overseeing the selection, said it will be done on Tuesday, following a communication she received from the party secretariat.

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Chaos and confusion rock Jubilee party forum in Murang’a