30 January 2013

Kenya: Tight Security As Presidential Candidates Present Papers

Security was tight at the KICC in Nairobi on the first day for presidential candidates to submit their nomination papers to the electoral commission.

Armed police joined the KICC security guards around the building and inside the Shimba Hills Hall where the IEBC was receiving the papers.

A candidate was only allowed to go to the hall with a maximum of ten people the venue. Those required to accompany the candidates were the one member of the candidate's family, a proposer, a seconder, the running mate and one family member of the running mate.

Others were two party certificate signatories, candidates and running mates bodyguards and two aides. Observers, IEBC staff and journalists were required to have their tags for identification to be allowed into the venue.

At one point, Kenya National Congress party candidate Peter Kenneth, who was with his supporters, was restrained at the gate until IEBC secretary James Oswago intervened. The supporters remained on the City Hall Way, outside the KICC compound.

UDF's Musalia Mudavadi, who had planned to address his supporters outside KICC, had to change the venue of the rally to Jevanjee Gardens to abide by IEBC's strict security measures.

The candidates were received by IEBC chairman Issack Hassan in the VIP lounge before proceeding to the Shimba Hall where they presented their papers.

The IEBC said elaborate security plans are in place today as presidential aspirants Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga present their papers.

Uhuru with his running mate William Ruto are expected at 8.30am while Raila and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka meet the IEBC officials at 11am. Raila team will then proceed to Uhuru Park where they will officially launch the presidential campaign.

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