Kisumu residents hold mock poll - Daily Nation

Kisumu residents hold mock poll

Tuesday November 4 2008

A Kisumu comedian acting as a John McCain

A Kisumu comedian acting as a John McCain polling agent joins Obama’s queue at a mock election conducted on Kisumu streets on Tuesday. Residents were upbeat over the US polls. Photo/ DAN OBIERO 

By WALTER MENYA and ABUID OCHIENG’

The anxiety and excitement over the US elections boiled over to the streets of Kisumu, where a couple of comedians organised mock elections.

And wananchi who had got to the town centre flocked the scene where Lawrence Oyange and Milton Obote held the exercise in Kisumu on Tuesday to imitate the American presidential election.

Obama-mania

There were two polling booths each bearing the pictures of the candidates; John McCain and Barrack Obama.

Mr Obama’s queue grew longer as McCain’s had no voters, a reflection of the feelings that of the town that has been gripped by Obama-mania.

And from the queues witnessed, McCain seemed to be fairing badly.

“I am urging Kenyans to come out and vote for McCain. He is also a candidate and he can extend Lake Victoria to Mississippi,” joked Obote.

A McCain sympathiser who attempted to vote twice received a thorough beating from other ‘voters’ before police came to his rescue.

“Voters” were confident that Obama would win in the actual polls.

Traders are also cashing in on the opportunity with their wares that range from badges, watches and T-shirts.

Meanwhile, the town has been placed under heavy security with police officers in Land Rovers patrolling the streets to prevent a repeat of looting and lawlessness such as those witnessed after the December General Election.

In Kabarnet, police yesterday arrested an Obama supporter for public nuisance.

The man popularly known as Ali Ali was arrested in Kabarnet Town for using blaring speakers to praise the presidential candidate.

“We cannot allow any Tom, Dick and Harry to go around the town making unnecessary noise,” said area OCS Joshua Aseto.

He said though the man had the right of expression, he should have sought a permit.

Apart from his loud speakers being confiscated, the man who was being held at Kabarnet police station will soon be charged with being a public nuisance.

However, town residents threatened to stage demonstrations for what they called police harassment.

Additional reporting by Willy Kipsang