18 January 2013

Kenya: Disgruntled Voters Back to the Ballot

Nairobi — Voters on Friday turned up in Westlands, Kibra and Langata Constituencies on the second day of nominations after delays witnessed the previous day.

In Kibra, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) supporters were agitated that the party officials were claiming that they had received most results yet they had not even voted.

"We have been waiting for these papers from yesterday. Up to now they have not come, why? We don't understand why they are declaring winners yet we have not voted," Carolyn Ochieng a resident at Sarangombe told Capital FM News.

By midday at Undugu polling centre, huge crowds of people were anxiously waiting for the ballot papers to arrive as promised but some had lost hope as they had heard results being released. "We don't know what is happening. We are here waiting but we don't know if they will bring them. If they have plans of bringing the ballot papers, let them bring now. We cannot spend all our life waiting to vote," another voter at Undugu polling centre blurted.

The voters in Kibra who seemed to doubt the credibility of the nominations said even if their parties had given direct nominations to their candidates of preference, they have the power to vote leaders of their choice.

David Asanya alleged: "We waited for the ballot papers, but they have not come. Our parties have given direct nominations ignoring our choice as party supporters. Leaders should know we are now like the Americans. They will not lie to us like they are used to doing. They will not force us to vote for their choices. It is a game they are playing and we have discovered that. We know violence affects us, we lose our relatives."

They further expressed disappointment that the nominations were marred by confusion and delays which made them to lose two working days.

They were also unhappy that their children had not attended school for the two days and urged their parties to in future be more organised and think about their supporters.

"Yesterday we were told we would vote, we waited, we hear ballot papers arrived in few areas, but most of other areas did not see them. But you see we have not gone to work, our children are at home, do they think we will be coming here every day so that we can vote? Don't they think we have no work to do," another resident exclaimed.

The National Alliance (TNA) party which postponed its nominations in some areas also delivered ballot papers at Kibra polling stations although late. Despite the disappointments expressed by the party supporters, voting went on smoothly at the various TNA polling centres in Kibra, Westlands and Langata constituencies.

"We will vote since it is up to us to do that. But I don't like this kind of disorganisation. We gathered here yesterday very early in the morning. Then we heard in the news that TNA had postponed its nominations. So even today we came early but we were not sure if they would come," a TNA supporter asserted.

The United Republican Party, ODM and TNA started their nominations on Thursday but not in all stations.

Musalia Mudavadi's United Democratic Forum appeared more organised in Westlands, Kibra and Langata as their centres were opened on time.

Despite complaints of irregularities in TNA and URP most voters managed to get to the ballot on the second and last day of the nominations ahead of the Friday midnight deadline as per the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

Copyright © 2013 Capital FM. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.