Amid a war of words over the Kibra by-election, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has blamed Deputy President William Ruto for the violence witnessed there and during the earlier vote in Ganda Ward, Kilifi County.
In a statement on Sunday, the party accused the DP of “venting his frustrations on ODM and leader Raila Odinga” following the Kibra win by Bernard Imran Okoth.
ODM’s statement on Sunday followed the DP’s accusations against it.
The Deputy President accused the orange party of using violence to intimidate Jubilee Party’s agents and supporters in Kibra and demanded an apology from Mr Odinga.
“As Kenyans we demand that Tinga (Mr Odinga) and his party (ODM) unconditionally, unequivocally and publicly renounce the culture of violence, chaos, terror and gangsterism [sic], their signature modus operandi as witnessed in Kibra, and unreservedly apologise to victims past and present for their hurt and loss,” he tweeted on Saturday.
On Friday, he said: “We have demonstrated unprecedented resolve in the face of many odds to proudly double our [percentage] presence in a territory otherwise considered a no-go zone and shamed those who betrayed our leader and party.
“In spite of questionable reinforcements, the con-handshake candidate narrative, the violence or intimidation, you went past the gate, the door and voted Jubilee a third of ‘bedroom’ [sic].”
In its statement, ODM, whose leader is politician Raila Odinga, said it did now owe the DP an apology.
In Ganda, Jola Ngumbao, uncle of MCA-elect Reuben Katana, was shot dead in chaos involving Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa and ODM supporters in the ward.
Investigations into the incident are ongoing but ODM’s made several allegations.
“In a bid to realise his wish, Ruto made sure Ganda by-elections not only turned violent and chaotic but also ended with the fatal shooting of one resident,” stated the statement signed by the party’s Director of Elections Junet Mohamed (Suna East) and its Nairobi branch chairman George Aladwa (Makadara).
It added, “Ruto’s person in that contest, Hon Aisha Jumwa, has been charged in court for the fracas that led to the death. In the end, Ruto lost Ganda to ODM but his team left the people of Ganda in pain and tears.
“From Ganda, Ruto brought his trap with him to Kibra, once again promising to teach ODM a lesson. His tools of trade were the usual ones; voter bribery, fear mongering, lies, anger and violence.
ODM went on to speak of Dr Ruto’s “trademark hypocrisy”, saying he spent the days after the poll venting his frustrations on ODM and Raila Odinga and choosing to condemn violence and bribery where they never existed while ignoring them where they did in “plain site.”
“In the days leading to, and particularly on voting day in Kibra, Ruto’s errand boys, who sadly included serving and former members of Parliament, were caught in the primitive and backward politics of dishing out money to voters.”
ODM named former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, who was photographed and recorded collecting stones.
It said Mr Khalwale tried to cause mayhem.
Mr Odinga’s party regretted that Dr Ruto has “neither condemned nor acknowledged the violence and death his team caused in Ganda or the chaos and voter bribery his people were captured participating in in Kibra”.
“We wish to remind Kenyans that Ruto was not in any of these by-elections to win. He was in these polls to divide Kenyans along ethnic, regional and party lines using money and lies,” the statement said.
“Ruto thrives in chaos and division. He does not know how to lead a united and peaceful nation. He thrives on inventing enemies and proceeding to mobilize paid sycophants to fight those enemies.”
While relishing its victory in Kibra, ODM said Kenyans made the right conclusions about Dr Ruto and chose unity and peaceful co-existence over fear and division, so “in the end, it added, the DP got caught in the trap he thought he was laying for others”.
The party said a “bitter, isolated and frustrated” Ruto is now struggling to get out of that trap.
“We thank party supporters for rejecting Ruto’s money and for voting with the interest of the nation in mind. We thank our volunteer vote protectors who did everything to nab Ruto’s schemes and goons who included people who should otherwise be honourable leaders,” the statement said.
“We have no sympathy for him. Instead, Ruto owes the people of Ganda and Kibra apologies.”
The party asked Kenya to build on unity and hope over fear and division for the sake of nationwide unity.
Investigative agencies are also looking into the activities of an amorphous group linked to ODM, going by the name ODM Vote Protection Unit, in the wake of claims by Jubilee that the group intimidated, harassed and threatened opponents in Kibra.
Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji said those who instigated the violence in Kibra will be held personally responsible once police investigations are concluded.
However, Kibra OCPD Lucas Ogaro told the Nation on Saturday evening that a complaint was yet to be filed.
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