By George Odiwuor
Nation Media Group
Former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero has claimed “men in black” were among the people behind his loss in the race for Homa Bay governor.
The other factors he cited were bungled ODM primaries, what he called the unfair influence of Azimio leader Raila Odinga, alleged alteration of election forms and violence, saying the latter allowed Gladys Wanga to be “unfairly” declared winner in the August 9 election.
Dr Kidero made the claims when he testified in court in a case where he is challenging the election of Ms Wanga.
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He said he faced several obstacles while campaigning as an independent candidate against Ms Wanga (ODM).
He claimed Orange party candidates did not face any difficulties on the campaign trail in Homa Bay.
He alleged his political meetings were disrupted by rowdy youths he described as “men in black”.
The name is derived from a February 2014 incident where a group of young men donning black suits stormed the Kasarani Gymnasium when ODM was holding elections.
They destroyed election materials, smashed tables and disrupted the process.
Dr Kidero played a video in court to illustrate the origin of the group, which has caused mayhem at other political gatherings across the country.
He told the court that the youths act on the instructions of some politicians and they execute a carefully crafted script.
“Someone is always behind them, telling them what to do. My campaigns faced challenges as youths stormed the venue to disrupt my speeches,” he said.
He claimed violence started during the campaign period, leading to low voter turnout on election day.
“My agents were blocked from accessing polling stations. Others were only allowed to get in when crucial activities were over,” he said.
At some polling stations, he alleged, voters were assisted to vote selectively, with some presiding officers and agents allegedly helping voters who were casting ballots for Ms Wanga.
He also claimed the poll was marred by irregularities that denied him victory, saying figures were altered.
In the election, Ms Wanga received 244,559 votes and Dr Kidero 154,182.
Dr Kidero testified before Justice Roselyne Aburili at the Homa Bay High Court on Tuesday and Wednesday and said election results were altered on many Form 37As,
He was the 13th witness in the case.
But Ms Wanga’s lawyers, Charles Kanjama, Fredrick Orego, Jackson Awele, challenged Dr Kidero to provide evidence of the many claims he had made.
They questioned why Dr Kidero complained that his agents were denied entry at some polling stations and yet their signatures were appended on the required forms.
Mr Kanjama also challenged the former governor on his complaint that ODM interfered with the will of the people when Ms Wanga was awarded the ODM ticket without subjecting her to nominations.
He said they have a video showing that Dr Kidero supported the consensus that led to Ms Wanga getting a direct ticket.[/B][/I]
“Why are you complaining yet you were among those pushing for consensus?” Mr Kanjama asked.
The other defendants in the case are the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Homa Bay County Returning Officer Fredrick Apopa, Deputy Governor Oyugi Magwanga and ODM.