The Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino and his hired political goons unleashed a wave of deadly violent terror, bribery and intimidation against his opponents and their supporters during the last general elections.
The court petition challenging the election of Babu Owino before Justice Joseph Seregon revealed chilling tales of how Owino personally ordered and directed his hired goons to violently attack one of his leading opponents Joshua Otieno Obiende that left him for the dead.
In an affidavit filed to the court by Mr. Obiende he says: “When I arrived at the polling station with one of my body guards to vote I found the 1st respondent Babu Owino and his gang had taken complete control of the process with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC) officials led by the presiding officer including the police who were supposed to provide security completely helpless.”
In the petition Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino is listed as the 1st respondent, Nicholas K. Buttuk of IEBC as the second, and the IEBC as the third respondent.
This comes after similar deadly waves of violent terror were unleashed on Obiende and his supporters during the political parties’ primaries in the run up to the last general election on August 8th, 2017.
He claims that Owino had arranged the ballot boxes right in front of himself and his gang who were supervising the process bribing votes on the queues before voting for him as the police stood by watching helplessly.
The popular Amani National Congress (ANC) party politician who lost to Owino says that when he questioned what was going on from the IEBCs presiding officer he was lost for words and completely failed to give him any explanation that is when he decided to confront his fellow contestant to question why he was blatantly abusing the electoral process with impunity in broad daylight.
“That is when Owino ordered his goons to deal with me and they immediately descended on me with all manner of crude weapons, kicks and blows in a chilling deadly merciless attack right in front of the eyes of the police officers who were supposed to keep law and order,” says Mr. Obiende.
He says the deadly attack against him left him unconscious and in a coma after he was also hit on the head as his supporters were threatened with similar deadly violent attacks, intimidation and physically chasing them away and the process violently denying them their democratic rights to vote for candidates of their choice freely and fairly.
The aspirant says: “When I became conscious at the Kenyatta National Hospital’s (KNH) Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where I was admitted after the attack, I learnt from the driver that I had been left for the dead at that polling station where he found me unconscious and took me to hospital in a critical condition. I was discharged on August 22nd from the hospital after the deadly attack.”
He says that though he had deployed his agents at polling stations throughout the Embakasi East constituency, they were roundly attacked, chased, intimidated and all manner of violent tactics used against them by political goons hired by Mr. Owino to prevent them from discharging their duties in all the stations.
Obiende claims that tens of thousands of his supporters were forced to stay away from the polling stations because of the widespread terror of violence un-leashed by Owino and his goons while others were literally forced to leave the stations for fear of their very lives.
As a result thousands of more voters who were not in support of Owino were forced to stay indoors since there were widespread reports of their colleagues having been attacked by marauding deadly pro-Owino hired goons of terror.
It further states that apart from the terror of widespread violence in the constituency, there was massive blatant and open bribery of not only voters to vote for Owino but also the police and IEBC officers at polling stations to look aside as the electoral laws, rules and regulations were openly abused with rampant impunity.
It says that at Soweto Social Hall polling station just like many others throughout the constituency had been transformed into terror zones for any voter or agent suspected to be against Owino’s candidature in preference to any of his opponents.
Therefore, this state of affairs amongst many others issues and tangible evidence that shall be tabled before the court should have the IEBC to cancel the entire exercise and order for a repeat free and fair polling process that could assure credible results.