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Violence mars ODM primaries in Busia

Thursday April 13 2017

Busia Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa's vehicle

Busia Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa's vehicle that was smashed on Wednesday night by rowdy youth. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JUSTUS OCHIENG'
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By GAITANO PESSA
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ODM nominations in Busia County started off on a violent note, with Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa’s vehicle being smashed, its tires deflated and the driver attacked by rowdy youth on Wednesday night.

Mr Wangalwa’s liaison officer Lambert Ogochi said the deputy governor was not in the vehicle at the time of the attack.

According to Mr Ogochi, a group of youths stopped the vehicle near Marachi estate, deflated the tires and smashed one of the windows before giving the driver a thorough beating.

"They also stole a laptop and an IPad during the incident,” Mr Ogochi said.

A Nation.co.ke team found the vehicle parked at the county headquarters, but by 7am the matter had not been reported to police.

A tough contest is expected between Governor Sospeter Ojaamong’ and Funyula MP Paul Otuoma.

The two were pardoned by the ODM disciplinary committee on Wednesday over alleged election violence.

On the eve of the primaries, fake publications were circulated in Busia alleging that Mr Otouma had defected to Jubilee.

Funyula MP Paul Otuoma displays posters

Funyula MP Paul Otuoma displays posters portraying him as a Jubilee candidate in Bumula on April 13, 2017. PHOTO | GAITANO PESSA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Butula police boss Stephen Wambua said the issue was being investigated.

"The matter has been brought to our attention and we are doing investigations," Mr Wambua said.

Voting was yet to kick off by 8am at most polling stations despite word from the party’s National Elections Board that it would begin at 6am.

There was heavy security at the Busia Police Station at 6am as ODM election officials collected ballot boxes to be dispatched to various polling stations.

ODM Busia election officials prepare to

ODM Busia election officials prepare to dispatch materials to various polling stations in the county on April 13, 2017. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Western region deputy police boss Leonard Omollo said security had been beefed up.

He warned aspirants against inciting their supporters, saying those found causing violence will face the law.

“We have deployed security officers in all 175 polling stations and tallying centres in the county," Mr Omollo said.