17 January 2013

Kenya: Aspirants See Mischief in Delayed Primaries

Nairobi — Aspirants participating in Thursday's party primaries have expressed fears of being rigged out of the March 4 elections after the exercise failed to begin in various centres in Embakasi.

Speaking after assessing the process at Kifara Primary School, ODM Embakasi West parliamentary aspirant Brian Weke said the party's national election board should give reassurances following the hitches.

"We want to display our dismay and disappointment with the ODM organisers and fraternity. People wanted to vote and go to work but they are still stranded... we are wondering why the voting has not started," said Weke.

Meanwhile, TNA Embakasi Central parliamentary aspirant John Ndirangu said he was concerned that the delay in the commencement of the nominations had dented credibility of the process.

"The process of nomination today has been delayed despite the big turnout. The headquarters has let us down because up to now we don't have the ballot papers," Ndirangu said expressing his disappointment after visiting Kayole 1 Social Hall polling centre.

Meanwhile supporters of two competing aspirants clashed at a TNA polling centre in Matopeni Primary over claims that one of the aspirants had imported voters.

In Embakasi West Constituency, ODM agents were forced to leave Busara Primary School after they found TNA had booked the facility as its polling centre. ODM returning officers requested party members to move to the nearby Tumaini Primary School.

Supporters of the various parties told Capital FM News that they were disappointed at the manner in which the nominations were being handled but said they were still determined to exercise their right to vote.

Those who turned up for the exercise told Capital FM News that they had been at the stations from as early as six o'clock in the morning, while some dejected voters walked away complaining that their parties had wasted their day, because some of them had not gone to work.

"They told us to come and participate in this process; they told us that it will take us less than five minutes and we can go on with our business, but it's now midday and nothing is happening," said Kamau Mwangi, a casual labourer in Nairobi's Industrial Area.

"There is a conspiracy that is at play here, there is evidently a problem in TNA," said a dejected Martin Ndegwa as he opted to go and run his hardware store.

Confusion continued to be witnessed in majority of TNA and ODM polling centres as presiding officers received ballot papers for senators and governors alone while in other stations only ballot papers for governors and women representatives were available.

Voting at Soweto Youth Group was halted as voters claimed they had ballot papers for a different area.

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