INTERNATIONAL

Kenya: Presidential aspirant attempted suicide after disqualification

A Kenyan Independent Presidential aspirant Peter Solomon Gichira is in police custody for attempting to commit suicide on May 27, 2017 at Anniversary Towers, after he was disqualified by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Daily Nation reports.

Mr Gichira, who successfully filed a case in court to nullify some rules set by the IEBC on independent aspirants, tried to jump off the 6th floor of Anniversary Towers on Saturday afternoon.

Speaking to Nation, central police OCPD Robinson Thuku said that Mr Gichira was at the IEBC offices to check on the progress of his nomination to vie for the Presidency.

Mr Thuku said that when he found out that IEBC rejected his bid, he broke a window pane of the 6th floor and attempted to jump out before two officers rescued and arrested him.

Meanwhile, Gichira’s campaign manager, David Muriuki said that he had gone to IEBC to follow-up on the progress but after being kept for hours he declared he will present his nomination papers despite not having been cleared and being held in custody.

According to Mr Muriuki, the suicide claims against his boss are not true saying that it was a fabrication of the police.

Mr Thuku said the politician will be arraigned in court this Monday over charges of attempting to commit suicide and malicious damage to property.

However, the police have refused to give him cash bail stating that they are protecting him as they fear he could kill himself if he is released.

His family members and his running mate Kelly Watima, have camped at the police station trying to secure his release.

Mr Watima claimed that Mr Gichira has been harassed since he announced his bid to vie for the Presidency.

He said it started when they submitted his symbol to IEBC who declined to receive the same insisting that it was supposed to be approved by the Registrar of Political Parties.

Mr Watima said that they also rejected him as the running mate forcing him to get clearance from the political parties’ registrar which he claims was unnecessary.

His woes would not end there though. When he presented signatures a week ago, they were rejected by the IEBC stating that it was not in Excel format.

He further claims that IEBC has refused to acknowledge receipt of the signatures and as a consequence, he argued, acted in abuse of its powers and in an unfair administrative manner.

“Mr Gichira has had systematic harassment by the IEBC and now the police are locking him up so that he misses out on presenting his nomination papers…why are they scared…is it because he is a threat?” he posed.

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Jean Baptiste Karegeya

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