21 April 2017

Kenya: Chaos, Confusion, Anger Hit Jubilee Nominations

Photo: Moses Muoki/CapitalFM
Jubilee members wait to cast their votes at Kiambu primary school polling centre.

Police on Friday fired in the air and used tear gas to disperse rowdy crowds angered by delays in the start of Jubilee nominations in Mau Summit and Nakuru Town.

In Mau Summit, residents blocked the Kericho-Nakuru highway and the entrance to Mau Summit Secondary School protesting alleged vote rigging.

In Nakuru town, voting at the St Xaviers Primary School polling station in Nakuru Town East constituency was temporarily disrupted when a group of youths stormed the station, protesting delays in the delivery of polling materials.

Police intervened, using tear gas to disperse the crowd as the situation threatened to get out of hand.

The youths shouting, wailing and blowing vuvuzelas stormed St Xavier primary school polling centre in Biashara ward saying they would not allow voting to continue until all the polling materials were delivered.

Earlier, youths from Bondeni had staged a protest march from Menengai Social Hall to Mburu Gichua road. They claimed the decision to deny some polling stations voting material was a calculated move to rig the elections.

However calm returned after about half an hour and voting continued uninterrupted.

SHAMBOLIC

In Embu, voting in various parts was disrupted by a group of aspirants amid claims of rigging.

Led by Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire and Manyatta MP John Muchiri, the aspirants stormed Kirimari Secondary School where the ballot papers were being supplied and demanded that the process be halted.

They protested that the ballot boxes had no lids and ballot papers were fewer than the number of registered voters.

Ms Mbarire described the process as a sham, and urged her supporters to prevent the ballot materials from being transported to various stations.

They also said they would boycott the elections unless fresh ballot papers were supplied.

Ms Mbarire is set to fight it out with Governor Martin Wambora for the Jubilee party ticket.

The winner will face Senator Lenny Kivuti of Maendeleo Chap Chap and either Mr Kithinji Kiragu or former Permanent Secretary Cyrus Njiru who are fighting for the Party of National Unity ticket whose primaries is set for Saturday.

Mr Muchiri, Mbeere South aspirant Geoffrey King'ang'i and his Runyenjes counterpart Raymond Kinyua criticised the delay in supply of ballot papers.

"I am very disappointed by Jubilee Party headquarters. They announced the elections three weeks ago yet they had not made transport arrangements. They were looking for transport this morning," Mr Muchiri said.

Hundreds of ballot papers marked in favour of a parliamentary aspirant and a sitting MCA also fuelled allegations that the polls were already rigged.

Kirimari ward aspirant Morris Collo said he was shocked to find that his new name was missing from the ballot despite him having communicated the same with the IEBC.

Reporting by By Joseph Openda, Uzzler Ochieng, Francis Mureithi, Magdalene Wanja, Reitz Mureithi and Eric Matara, Charles Wanyoro

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