Capital FM (Nairobi)

17 January 2013

Kenya: Kakamega Not Spared Poll Trouble

Kakamega — Confusion marred nominations in Kakamega County with majority of polling stations opening after midday as opposed to 6am as earlier scheduled.

ODM and UDF failed to deliver election materials in time to the polling stations despite receiving them a day before.

Even after receiving some of the materials, there were reports of inadequate ballots as well as omission of some candidates' names.

ODM's Kakamega county returning officer Elizaphan Ager said that they delivered materials late to polling stations due to inconsistencies in the lists of aspirants that took time to sort out.

"Some of the aspirants especially county representatives registered late and we had to agree on the missing names, so we have delivered ballot papers to majority of the polling stations," Ager told Capital FM News.

Voting went on in majority of the stations starting at noon but some started after 1pm.

The UDF chairman in the county Moses Lumiti said they also had to make changes on the ballot papers following missing names of late entrants into the race.

He said they got overwhelmed as they had handled matters in Vihiga, Bungoma and Busia Counties which had similar problems.

"We had to go to the UDF website and print blank papers with the letterhead of our party. Aspirants paid for this exercise and our elections board has directed us not to omit any aspirant," he said.

Security personnel were available in numbers that commanders said was enough for the exercise.

According to acting Kakamega Central police chief Wilson Kosgey, police were ready to deal with the any security breaches though only one was reported.

UDF supporters of parliamentary aspirants' Manyala Keya and Titus Khamala were reported to have clashed at a polling station in Bukura where one of Keya's supporters was injured.

The closure of primary schools to act as nomination centres helped to a large extent but UDF and ODM supporters almost clashed at the Muliro Gardens with each claiming to be the rightful users.

Party members arriving at polling stations were only required to produce their national identity cards before they proceeded to vote.

In some polling stations both ODM and UDF members used papers plucked from exercise books as their ballot papers as confusion took its toll.

On Wednesday, officials of ODM and UDF in Kakamega County had insisted that they were ready to conduct party nominations.

In ODM, the race for governor pits Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya against Simbauni Ndombi while in UDF the former Nyanza Provincial Commissioner Paul Olando was set to get automatic nomination following UDF's disqualification of Housing Minister Soita Shitanda.

Shitanda was disqualified in what the chairman of UDF's elections board Abraham Limo termed as 'technical grounds.'

"As it is we cannot clear him to run unless it is proven to us that the papers he holds are from accredited institutions," Limo told Capital FM News.

ODM which is part of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy is set to give automatic nomination to Professor Elizabeth Shanyisa to vie for the senate seat there being no other competitor.

Similarly, former Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale was set to get automatic nomination since no other contestant declared interest within the party.

ODM has three aspirants seeking nomination for the county women representative. They are Rachel Ameso, Leonida Anguba and Elsie Muhande.

UDF's battle for the women's representative position will be squared out between Violet Shibutse from Shinyalu and Sarah Netia from Matungu constituency.

Results were expected to be announced later on Thursday.

Parties allied to the Jubilee coalition did not hold nominations in Kakamega County.

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