Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 14:48 EATlmwihaki@kenyafreepress.com
A 30 year old aspiring MP for Embakasi East on Monday moved a notch higher in reaching out to the voters when he distributed packets of unga (maize flour) to residents of his constituency. This caused mixed reactions as his fellow politicians termed it bribing the voters.
Francis Mureithi who is on a Jubilee ticket is set to battle it out with ODM’s and former student leader Babu Owino and eight others in the August elections. The politician had come with a truck fully loaded with bales of Unga which has been very scarce recent months.
Mureithi was giving out three packets of unga to each of the residents who he says had asked him to bring Unga for them as was becoming difficult.
“I am farmer and I had a thousand bags of maize and I contracted the miller to mill them for me”, he added. It is yet to be confirmed whether by distributing Unga to the voters, Mureithi was committing an electoral offence.
According to the Election Offences 2016 Act, a bribe is when a person during an election period, directly or indirectly offers a bribe to influence a voter to: - vote or refrain from voting for a particular candidate or a political party, Attend, participate in or refrain from attending or partcicipating in any political meeting.
A person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding Sh2 million or to imprisonment for 6 years or even both. This act was termed as bribing the voters with an aim of wooing them.
This statement from IEBC termed this as “treating” the voters. In the new regime of election offences 2016, treating is no longer an offence. It becomes an offence when a politician uses money to woo the voters.