Kimunya must go! He must go!
These were the chants of a section of Kiambaa residents who confronted National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya at Kimuga polling station on Thursday during the start of voting at the Kiambaa by-election.
The angry residents claimed that Kimunya was not a voter nor an agent in the by-election.
“Hakutakuwa na Amani Mpaka atoke hapa. Kimunya must go!” They were heard shouting as they surged towards him.
Kimunya who was standing next to police officers was seen consulting on what to do next.
But the crowd maintained he should leave and continued shouting saying they will not vote until the Kipipiri MP leaves.
“Enda Kipipiri uko hatukutaki hapa, (Go back to Kipipiri, we don’t need you here!)” one shouted.
But Kimunya who was unmoved was heard asking the police officer who the residents were.
“Who are they..who are they? Let them go,” Kimunya said as he stood firm and smiled back at another person who was standing next to him.
Kimunya tried to explain to them that he was a Jubilee agent.
The police were forced to come in and drive the crowd away. As members of the public got agitated.
“Kimunya anafanya nini hapa..amekuja kuleta wizi hapa… yeye si observer. Anafanya nini hapa?” Another angry man shouted.
Loosely translates to: (What is he doing here? He has come to bribe people here. He is not an observer, what is he doing here?)
Kimunya said those are goons hired by competition adding that they wanted to influence voters.
“They want to influence them. But I am officially here as an agent with my name at the IEBC. I have been here since 6 am and It has been peaceful. Why should I leave? I am here to represent my party,” he said.
Kimunya went ahead to show his credentials saying that he was an agent.
“This is my oath of secrecy, statistics and notes. I have cleared with the presiding officer. I am here officially. The process has been very peaceful. In fact, I was here from yesterday,” he said.
“This is their day to make their decision and they should do it without intimidation. Let a few people not mess up a very peaceful election.”
In the commotion, the residents kept on singing Kimunya must go!
In one section of the polling station, the voting exercise was ongoing as residents elected their new leader.
Polls opened in Kiambaa early in the morning at 6 am.
The Kiambaa by-election appears to be a two-horse race between Jubilee’s Kariri Njama and UDA’s John Njuguna Wanjiku.
To prove their political strength, Deputy President William Ruto and his team have staged a fierce contest to make Jubilee appear powerless politically in Kiambaa and Muguga wards.
There are eight candidates in the Kiambaa by-election but the contest has narrowed down to Jubilee’s Njama and UDA’s Njuguna.
The constituency has slightly more than 96,000 registered voters, 154 polling stations and five wards.
The Kiambaa parliamentary seat fell vacant with the death of Paul Koinange who succumbed to Covid-19-related complications in March.
Koinange who was key in the campaigns for the Building Bridges Initiative in Kiambu county was chairman of the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security and a critic of the Deputy President.