Police arrest IEBC staff over illegal possession of ballot boxes

Thursday August 10 2017

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission

Ballot boxes at Malindi constituency tallying centre on August 9, 2017. In Kilgoris, two IEBC officials were arrested for being in possession of ballot papers and boxes illegally. PHOTO | MATHIAS RINGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOEL REYIA
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The announcement of results for various elective seats in Kilgoris constituency, Narok County, was marred by delays and arrests, which almost crippled the process.

Tallying was temporarily halted after a presiding officer, his deputy and a police officer were arrested with ballot papers in a house.

Mr George Akumu, the presiding officer for Endoinyo Nkopit polling station and his deputy, Ms Sarah Yiamat Leperon, were seized in Milimani estate in Kilgoris town.

STUFFING
Trans Mara West director of criminal investigations David Njogu said the two were in the company of Mr Pius Otieno, an Administration police officer.

Mr Njogu said they suspected that the materials were intended to be used to stuff ballot boxes before sending them for tallying.

"Voting had ended at the polling centre and the materials were then dispatched to the tallying centre.

"But while on the way the presiding officer diverted them to his house for unknown reasons," Mr Njogu said.

Among the materials impounded were six ballot boxes and an unknown number of ballot papers.

PROSECUTE
Mr Njogu said that most of the ballot materials were marked.

He nonetheless assured members of the public that the suspects will be arraigned in court Thursday.

Residents expressed disaffection with the way the voting was conducted.

RIGGING
Kilgoris parliamentary candidate on a KANU ticket Julius Sunkuli petitioned the electoral agency to nullify the parliamentary results, claiming that the ballot papers were used to rig the election.

Earlier on, Kilgoris constituency Returning Officer Elijah Ombogo cancelled the results of Enenkeshui polling station after it was found that the number of votes cast exceeded the number of registered voters.

CANCELLED

Mr Ombogo said that the presiding officer in charge of the centre should record a statement with the police to explain how such a situation came to be.

Mr Ombogo said that all presiding officers will be held liable for any vote tampering that might occur.

"The total number of registered voters in the station is 285 while a total of 325 votes were cast, which is an impossibility," he said.