Kenyan presidential aspirant charged after ‘attempting suicide’ at EC office

International News

Presidential aspirant Peter Solomon Gichira has been charged with attempted suicide, malicious damage and creating disturbance at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) offices after he was disqualified as an independent candidate.

A Nairobi court charged the disappointed aspirant on Monday and released him on a 200,000 Kenyan Shillings bail ($2000) after his arrest on Sunday by the police for allegedly attempting to jump from the sixth floor of the IEBC headquarters, local media Daily Nation reports.

He is alleged to have damaged an air conditioner, an internet socket and a door in the process. Gichira maintained innocence and denied all the charges.

Solomon Gichira was reported to have broken a window and attempted to jump off the Anniversary Towers building after he was disqualified from running for not meeting the requirement of securing 2,000 signatures from people not affiliated to any party in at least 24 counties among others.

He was reportedly rescued by security officials before his arrested.

His running mate Kelly Watima described the disqualification and arrest as a scheme to frustrate them from contesting.

“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 told the Daily Nation.

Kenya’s August 8 election will be keenly contested between two main candidates: incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition coalition flagbearer Raila Odinga.

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