Chris Karan blames police for Ugenya loss, mulls court case - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 13 April 2019

Chris Karan blames police for Ugenya loss, mulls court case

Chris Karan

Politician Chris Karan, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) candidate who lost the Ugenya by-election, is considering filing a petition against David Ouma Ochieng’s victory.
The vote took place last Friday but Mr Karan broke his silence on Wednesday, blaming the "heavy deployment of state machinery” in the constituency for his loss to the Movement for Democracy and Growth candidate.
He sucked police spokesperson Charles Owino into his woes, accusing him of “orchestrating my loss following heavy deployment of police officers in Ugenya, prior, during and after elections”.
"A SHAM"
Mr Owino hails from Ugenya in Siaya County.
In an exclusive interview with the Nation, the ODM candidate claimed police officers intimidated his supporters’ in his West Ugenya, Ukwala and North Ugenya “strongholds”.
“We had taken over Ugenya until the last day when security forces were brought from other counties to come and camp in Ugenya," Mr Karan said.
"The IEBC was equally partisan and in some polling stations, ODM agents were ejected and did not witness the counting of votes,” he also said, adding that he was consulting his lawyers and party on whether to take the matter to court.
Mr Karan further claimed that before counting started, major roads were blocked by police.
“Most KIEMS kits in my strongholds of West Ugenya, Ukwala and North Ugenya were not working and some polling stations started operating as late as 3pm,” he added.
“Voters streamed in only to go back home. Further still, I have evidence that people from as far as Nairobi and registered there managed to vote in Ugenya. It was a sham."
He also claimed that some of his supporters were threatened during the by-election and that they had not returned to their homes since that day.
“One is nursing injuries in hospital as he was attacked. Suspects are yet to be taken to court,” he said.
PRECAUTION
Reached for comment, however, Mr Owino said the deployment of security agents to monitor the elections was solely the duty of the sub-county and county security committees.
“That was not my role. In fact, I kept off my home place for the past four months during campaigns and only returned last Saturday after voting,” said the National Police Service Commission spokesperson.
Mr Owino explained that police could not take any chances as "Ugenya has a history".
“In 2007, James Orengo’s vehicle was burnt and his driver killed. I don’t think police would want to see such an occurrence again in hotly contested polls,”
He wondered how the number of police officers affected Mr Karan’s votes.
Ugenya police boss Willy Simba said they had intelligence that ODM supporters were planning to wreak havoc during and after the elections hence the deployment of many officers.
“Some ODM luminaries had been saying they would stop the declaration of a candidate other than their own. We could therefore not take chances with security. He (Karan) should not drag Mr Owino’s name into politics,” the police boss said.
RAILA DEFENCE
Mr Ochieng’ garnered 18,730 votes against Mr Karan’s 14,507 to reclaim the Ugenya seat which he held between 2013 and 2017.
Mr Karan, however, maintained he was denied victory and defended ODM leader Raila Odinga on claims he kept off hence the loss.
“Jakom (Raila) was in Ugenya three times and he campaigned for me. We were far much ahead. Only the security involvement messed us up,” Mr Karan said.
The politician also questioned the motive of the Director of Public Prosecution in announcing his prosecution on the day of the polls.
The DPP recommended Mr Karan's prosecution over alleged forgery of a medical report during the court case.
“Leave alone the declaration by the DPP on election day. When I presented my nomination papers to the IEBC in February, the DPP handed the file to the EACC, telling them to [file] more evidence against me," he said.
"From the onset, all state agencies ganged up against my candidature.”
Following ODM's losses in Ugenya and Embakasi South, ODM Director of Elections Junet Mohamed and Director of Political Affairs Opiyo Wandayi said the party would, without a doubt, return to the drawing board to find out what went wrong.
But Mr Odinga said the outcomes were “no big deal” and a “drop in the ocean”.

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