Chaos, confusion, anger hit Jubilee nominations

Friday April 21 2017

A police officer tries to calm down voters at

A police officer tries to calm down voters at the St Xaviers Primary School polling station in Nakuru protesting primary election delays. PHOTO | MAGDALENE WANJA | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By NATION TEAM
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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 the polling centre in Biashara ward, saying they would not allow voting to continue until all the polling materials were delivered.

SHAMBOLIC

Earlier, youths from Bondeni had staged a protest march from the 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.

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

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 the 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.

TRANSPORT ARRANGEMENTS

The winner will face Senator Lenny Kivuti of Maendeleo Chap Chap and either Kithinji Kiragu or former permanent secretary Cyrus Njiru, who are fighting for the Party of National Unity ticket in primaries scheduled for Saturday.

Mr Muchiri, Mbeere South MP aspirant Geoffrey King’ang’i and his Runyenjes counterpart Raymond Kinyua criticised the delay in supplying the 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 though he had sent his data to the IEBC.

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