8 April 2012

Kenya: IEBC Civic Education Programmes Aborts in Nandi

AN Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission public civic education exercise during Easter in Nandi ended on a sour note when irate residents stormed the venue and chased away the officials accusing them of unfair treatment on the boundaries of two controversial proposed constituencies. Matters came to a head at Ol'Lessos Township when angry residents confronted the commission's officers led by the Nandi East district coordinator Oduor Onyango who had arrived at the venue accompanied by other officers and administration police officers for what could have been a day long civic education.

No sooner had the IEBC officers and security set up the tables and distributed materials to the audience than an angry mob charged at them accusing the commission of failing to take their views and instead serving the interests of an individual. The residents grabbed IEBC banners while others tore documents indicating possible sub location and civic areas to be included in the yet to be established county assembly. They insisted that the proposed Tinderet and Nandi-Hills constituencies boundary is a "hot potato" which they will not accept.

Trouble has been brewing in the area after residents of the proposed Tinderet constituency opposed recommendations by IEBC on delimitation of constituency boundaries. The residents wanted the lowlands cane growing region and the highlands Tea growing areas to become separate constituencies instead of a proposal where areas bordering Tinderet Forest become a constituency. Tension has been high in the proposed Tinderet constituency as residents led by veteran politician Ezekiel Barng'etuny and a team of elders warned they might seek the intervention of the Supreme Court.

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