Former Ugenya MP David Ochieng on Wednesday told a Kisumu Court that the ODM brigade accused him of conniving with President Uhuru Kenyatta to murder the late former electoral commission ICT manager Chris Msando.
The former legislator said that the opposition leaders said they would do that to allow them (Uhuru and Ochieng) rig the elections.
He, however, maintained that he was not involved in the murder.
His link to the murder of Mr Msando, Mr Ochieng said, was part of a spirited smear campaign by the Orange party led by Senator James Orengo, to turn the voters against him ahead of the August Elections.
Mr Ochieng said this was against the elections code of conduct which did not allow candidates to use abusive language of spread false information against each other verbally or using supporters.
DEFECTED FROM ODM
He was defending his Ugenya parliamentary seat then, under the Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG) party having defected from ODM.
“This was part of the smear campaign in ODM’s desperate attempts in gaining sympathy out of a heinous act of murder,” said Mr Ochieng.
Testifying before High Court Judge Lady Justice Tripsisa Cherere, the former Ugenya MP said: “This was the lowest moment of my campaign.”
Mr Msando went missing on Friday July 28. His grey Land Rover Discovery was found behind the Thika Road Mall on the Thika Superhighway while his body was found at Nguriunditu, Kikuyu off Waiyaki Way about 2km from the main road.
Residents said the body was picked up by police at 10am on Saturday.
His death was highly linked to rigging claims prior and after the polls.
ELECTION PETITION CASE
The former legislator was testifying in an election petition case he has filed contesting the election of the current Ugenya MP Christopher Karani.
In the August election, Mr Karani won after garnering 23, 765 votes against Mr Ochieng’s 23, 418, a margin of 347 votes.
He pointed out that the death of Msando, who was also from Ugenya, shook the constituency and nation.
“Being he held an important position especially IT which was vital in the elections, it was believed that whoever killed him wanted to rig the elections,” said Mr Ochieng.
Mr Ochieng said on August 1, Mr Karani had gone to condole with the late Msando’s family at their home where the utterances linking him to the death of former IEBC staff was made.
When he heard this from one of his supporters who was at the home, he said he drove to the home where he expressed his plea, condoled with the family and offered his assistance. He pointed out that he never encountered any hostility.
The former legislator said he was never even called by police to record a statement in connection with the alleged murder.
Mr Ochieng also told the court that he was called a Jubilee mole and that the six piece campaign was a bid to turn the voters hostile towards him for contesting on an MDG ticket.
Targeting the illiterate voters, Mr Ochieng said the ODM team claimed voting for him was voting for President Kenyatta.
“Orengo told voters that as soon as they put their finger on the KIEMS kit, they could be seen in the Nasa offices in Nairobi that they voted for me. He told voters that casting a ballot in my favor was a sin and that they would be followed to their homes,” said Mr Ochieng.
During cross examination by his lawyer retired Justice Richard Kwach, Mr Ochieng said the utterances were expressed in a number of rallies in Ugenya during the campaign period.
He said this was perpetuated despite being other candidates from other parties including Jubilee, Ford Kenya and Amani National Congress.
“According to them, if you are not in ODM, you are not supporting Raila Odinga. The ODM brigade claimed that I would gang up with Jubilee to impeach Mr Odinga if he was elected president,” said Mr Ochieng.
PUT TO TASK
Earlier, IEBC lawyer Raymond Olendo put various party agents who testified in the case to the task to explain how the election officials aided voters in casting the ballot.
It emerged that some Presiding officers used different methods in assisting voters who needed help in casting the ballot. While some called out the names for the voters to identify their preferred candidates, some deputies when told to cast ‘six piece’ they would assume it was for all the ODM candidates.
Mr Olendo however questioned the agents on why they did not make an official complaint in the polling station diary.
An agent for Siaya woman representative candidate, at Siranga Primary Mr Kevine Odhiambo told the court: “I raised the complaints verbally but I did not put it down. I assumed the PO did.”