Bernard Otieno Okoth, brother to late Member of Parliament Ken Okoth, who was declared the winner of Saturday Kibra constituency ODM nominations, may have been rigged in by the party mandarins, Kahawa Tungu has learnt.
Benard Otieno alias Imran was declared the winner on Sunday morning having garnered 4382 votes.
However, the screenshots in our possession reveal that prior to the Saturday poll, Imran was in constant communication with Philip Etale, ODM Communication Director, and his victory may have been well planned even before the Kibra electorates saw the ballot papers.
Party Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna and Elections Board Chairperson Judith Pareno had apparently demanded Ksh2 million from Imran to seal his victory.
Ms Pareno had insisted that ‘everything MUST appear as real as possible, no room for suspicion.’
“Director, I’ve managed mita mbili and the rest will be topped up before the close of business tomorrow, ” Imran wrote to Etale.
Etale then replied that he would send his driver to pick the money in exchange of 3700 ballot papers.
“By 2 am, the SG’s guy will brief you on where to pick the papers and ensure you have an adequate workforce to mark all of them,. Changanya alama (tick, x and other recognized marks) to make it real. You know how you will distribute them across all polling stations. They are 3700 in number,” Philip wrote.
“Okoth remember I’m doing this for your late brother, you know if these things leak out, I will disown you and everything. The SG, Women Rep, Hon. Pareno and the entire team will not forgive you if you dare mess, ” he added.
In response, Imran said, “My team is ready, just waiting for the task.”
Etale, on Monday, however, disputed claims of helping Imran clinch the ODM ticket.
“I am not in the business of extortion. For the record, I only rang Mr. Imran yesterday on instructions from my boss the Secretary-General Mr. Edwin Sifuna to inform him of how to conduct himself in the event he is invited for a media interview. That I did in my capacity as the DC of my beloved party ODM. That’s the only time I have ever spoken to Imran, ” he wrote on his social media handles.
The Saturday exercise was marred by delays and several voters’ names were found to be missing from the IEBC register in most polling stations.
Following the ‘stage-managed’ election, there are concerns from inside sources on how the party will sell Imran’s candidature, as he’s seen as a weak candidate.
Meanwhile, Imran’s close competitor, Peter Orero, who came second with 1218 votes has challenged Imran’s victory.
Orero is set to face the party’s tribunal over claims that the register which was used during the primaries was doctored to favour Imran.
He argues that Imran had access to the register which he used to work with during issuance of bursary funds to Kibra residents while serving at the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) office.
Already, Sifuna has confirmed that the party secretariat indeed received an appeal. The Dispute Resolution Tribunal will hear and determine the case on Monday.
If Imran’s victory is upheld he’ll face candidates from rival parties including Jubilee’s McDonald Mariga, Amani National Congress’ Eliud Owala, Editar Achieng of Ukweli Party and Ford Kenya’s Khamisi Butichi.
The Kibra MP seat fell vacant following the death of Ken Okoth who succumbed to colorectal cancer on July 26, 2019.