Youths attack vehicle carrying ODM poll materials in Kisii

Thursday April 20 2017

ODM officials whose vehicle was attacked as they ferried poll materials on April 20, 2017 seen here at Suneka Polling Station. They were headed to Nduru Secondary School polling centre when goons on motorcycles blocked them and destroyed ballot boxes. PHOTO | AGGREY OMBOKI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

ODM officials whose vehicle was attacked as they ferried polling materials on April 20, 2017, seen here at the Suneka Police Station. They were heading to the Nduru Secondary School polling centre when goons on motorcycles blocked them and destroyed ballot boxes. PHOTO | AGGREY OMBOKI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By AGGREY OMBOKI
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Youths on motorcycles have attacked a vehicle carrying ODM ballot materials in Mosando, Bogiakumu Ward, in Kisii County and destroyed ballot boxes.

The pickup truck was ferrying the materials to the tallying centre at Nduru Secondary School in South Mugirango.

William Meroka, the driver, told Nation.co.ke that he was blocked by individuals on motorbikes.

"I was driving along the Kisii-Mosando-Suneka road when six motorbikes blocked the road. Each bike had three pillion passengers," said Mr Meroka.

"The goons told us we would not be allowed to conduct elections in Bogiakumu Ward. They attempted to snatch my car keys but I held onto them firmly as we argued over our presence in their ward," said Mr Meroka.

Julius Maticha, the South Mugirango ODM elections panel chairman, said he tried to reason with the goons to no avail.

OFFLOAD BOXES

"We repeatedly told them that the ballot papers we were carrying were headed to South Mugirango and not their ward, which is in Bonchari," said Mr Maticha.

The goons then proceeded to offload from the vehicle eight ballot boxes and two voters' registers, which they destroyed.

Sensing danger, the officials drove off to the Suneka Administration Police camp.

The vehicle was not damaged in the incident.

Police said they had been told about the incident and were providing armed escort for the convoy.

A police officer, who cannot be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said the party officials would be offered security for the remainder of their trip.

"We will escort the officials to the polling centre and be on standby to respond in case of any further disturbances," said the officer.