Kenyans optimistic IEBC will conduct credible election

Monday August 7 2017

Voting materials for Changamwe Constituency awaiting distribution at Kenya Medical Training College, Mombasa County, on August 7, 2017. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Voting materials for Changamwe Constituency awaiting distribution at Kenya Medical Training College, Mombasa County, on August 7, 2017. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By NATION TEAM
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Kenyans on Monday expressed hopes of Tuesday’s elections being held peacefully and appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his main rival Raila Odinga to accept the poll results.

They also expect that the Kenya Integrated Election Management System, which the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will use, will function flawlessly to guarantee a free, fair and transparent election.

In Nairobi, residents said the functioning of the electoral technology will guarantee peaceful and fair elections.

Mr Vitalis Otieno said he expects change and hopes this time around no case of rigging will be reported since the technology will be used.

“In Nairobi, we do not expect network problems; the gadgets should work flawlessly and the elections should be free and fair,” said Mr Otieno.

MAJOR REFORMS

Ms Veronica Mueni, another resident, said they have faith in the electoral commission since there have been major reforms while Mr Andrew Muhati said he believed the commission will deliver a credible election.

“The mood seems very calm and peaceful. There are no signs of chaos or fighting,” said Mr Kenneth Tirop, a shoe-shiner.

Mr Evans Rotich, a boda boda rider and Ms Sally Koech, a grocer, also described the environment as calm, saying the exodus of some non-locals was only “normal”.

“It’s normal for people to be apprehensive and move during the electioneering period. But, there will be peace in this period even better than 2013,” said Mr Rotich. “I don’t fear for my safety because locals learnt from the 2007 incident that violence only takes people back.”

ADEQUATE SECURITY

In Mombasa, Mr Hemmed Kasim, a Kisauni resident, said he was not worried about the poll, adding that the government had assured residents there was adequate security.

“I expect peaceful polls. Whoever wins let’s accept it and the loser should concede. My only concern is regarding youths who might be used to demonstrate in case of anything. That is my biggest worry,” he said.

In Kwale, Ms Mwanakombo Mwaleso said residents expect peaceful elections as Mr Hamza Swaleh said he was pleased with the poll team’s preparations.

“There has been no incident that has been reported in the county and we are expecting a free and fair election,” he said.

In Taita-Taveta, Mr Dickson Mwashimba said the electoral commission had for the first time demonstrated their ability to conduct a credible poll. “Unlike in the past, today one can confirm his or her details before voting day. This shows that the team is committed to conducting a fair exercise,” he said.

CREDIBLE RESULTS

Ms Catherine Mwadime urged the commission to ensure that poll results reflect the will of the people .

“What we fear is that should IEBC fail to prove its preparedness by delivering credible results, chaos might erupt destabilising the country,” she said.

In Mumias, Mr Hamis Nyarotso expressed fears of protests if the elections will not be free and fair.

“We are quite apprehensive that the vote could be rigged and that could trigger trouble,” said Mr Nyarotso.

Ms Shamim Hassan said police should go about their duties without harassing and intimidating people while Mr John Omoro urged Kenyans to vote and wait for the poll outcome at home.

In Nakuru, residents of Molo and Kuresoi allayed fears of any poll related chaos this year.

CALM

Mr Peter Njoya, a carpenter in Molo Town, said: “Residents just want things to remain calm because our businesses will be affected in case of violence.”

In Kuresoi, area MP Moses Cheboi said although the area has been termed volatile in the past, it had enjoyed peace in the past decade.

“I have not witnessed any issues that may warrant insecurity in the area,” he said.

In Eldoret, Mr Joseph Mwangi said the presence of security officers would guarantee peaceful elections.

“I believe there will be no violence and that peace will prevail. No one wants to fight. We have been there and we learnt a lesson as a nation,” said Mr Mwangi.

Ms Eunice Chelimo, urged President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga to accept the results.

RUN-OFF

“Whoever wins the elections fairly, whether directly or through a run-off, should be accepted and respected. We should not react emotionally. There is life after polls,” she said.

Polling clerks and a security officer during distribution of materials at Uasin Gishu County Hall on August 7, 2017. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Polling clerks and a security officer during distribution of materials at Uasin Gishu County Hall on August 7, 2017. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Mt Kenya, residents expect the government to maintain peace and politicians to accept elections results.

“We are trusting that Kenyans and people of Laikipia will vote peacefully and wisely and choose leaders who will take us forward to a productive and prosperous future,” said Mr Martin Evans, chairman of the ranchers under the Laikipia Farmers Association.

In Nyeri, voters said they believed the polls will be peaceful. “I do not think that there is any Kenyan who wants chaos,” said Mr Samuel Kariuki from Nyamachaki.

Mr John Kamau said he was happy since there was no tension in Murang’a County despite different communities living there. He praised politicians for conducting peaceful campaigns.

FREE AND FAIR

In Marsabit, Mr Bush Adan, a businessman, said although the election could be free and fair, some local contestants may not accept the results.

“This could be a big problem because our politics are community based,” said Mr Adan.

In Isiolo, Mr Abdi Fatahsaid said the residents expected fair elections.

“We’ve seen buses that do not usually ply through Isiolo to other towns and we do not know where these people are going,” said Mr Fatahsaid.

Ms Irene Nkirote asked police to increase patrols in certain areas and monitor individuals who are likely to cause chaos.

 Reports by Lilian Mutavi, Anita Chepkoech, Reitz Mureithi, Gitonga Marete, Winnie Atieno, Fadhili Frederick, Shaban Makokha, Brian Ocharo, Brenda Gamonde, Susan Towett, Joseph Nguthiru, Mwangi Ndirangu, Vivian Jebet, Irene Mwenda and Ndungu Gachane