21 April 2017

Kenya: Jubilee Primaries in Thika Done After Delays, Confusion

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

Voting in Thika Town Constituency begun minutes before mid-day following a morning of confusion and chaos after reports emerged that some extra ballot boxes had been found hidden in Thika Town Hall offices.

The chaos erupted a few minutes after ballot boxes were delivered to the town hall - the constituency's tallying centre after reports emerged that an extra stack of ballot boxes had been stored inside the county offices.

Some agents termed the incident as an attempt to rig the nominations in favour of aspirants allied to Kiambu Governor William Kabogo.

An aspirant for the Kiambu woman representative's seat Gladys Chania and Thika Township Ward aspirant Zablon Omollo claimed the excess ballot boxes could have been part of attempted rigging.

"As candidates we are against the presence of the excess 21 ballot boxes in Thika nominations which is part of rigging. As a former party official I can tell when something suspicious is happening," said Ms Chania.

The aspirant also took issue with what she termed as party officials delegating their work to police officers.

She claimed that Jubilee Party had failed by not appointing a county co-ordinator for Kiambu who would have been the best suited person to deal with the emerging issues.

Mr Omollo said it was wrong for the extra ballot boxes to be stored in either the county offices or Thika Police Station.

"They were about 24 boxes but four were damaged. We have resolved to have them redistributed to polling stations that do not have enough materials instead of being put in custody of the police. We do not trust anyone here including the police," said Mr Omollo.

Mr Omollo said he suspected that the extra ones were to be used for stuffing of rigged ballot papers in favour of some candidates.

However, the matter was resolved and voting commenced in some of the constituency's polling centres that Nation visited including Thika Stadium and St Patrick's and Kimuchu Primary schools where a huge turnout of voters was witnessed.

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