Confusion, delays mark day two of ODM primaries

Saturday April 15 2017

Delays, confusion and arrests marked ODM nominations in Kakamega, Narok, Samburu and Turkana counties in the second day of the high-stakes primaries.

In Kakamega, nominations in Matungu constituency were cancelled and pushed to Monday after names of aspirants Paul Posho Opwora and Paul Aguta Achayo were not captured on the ballot papers.

Similarly in Turkana County, Turkana South parliamentary aspirant Lokaale Samuel Lomodo discovered that his name was missing from the ballot papers.

In Samburu, the party sent one register to serve 40 polling stations merged into one in Maralal, and even then, a spot check revealed that as at 11.45am, the exercise, that was set to kick off at 6 am, had not begun.

Angry residents started leaving the station after expressing their dissatisfaction, some waiting patiently as others called for postponement of the activity to another date.

In Narok, senate aspirant Ledama ole Kina, who had earlier indicated that he had sailed through unopposed, got an unpleasant surprise as little-known Thorm Maitai made a last-minute rush to challenge him in the ballot.


Mr Maitai dismissed earlier reports that his competitor had been handed a direct ticket.

In Kilgoris constituency, of the same county, six people were arrested with ballot papers in a hideout in Kilgoris town as the exercise was going on.

Trans Mara West acting deputy OCPD Stephen Kyenze said that the six were arrested at a Kilgoris hotel with the voting materials stuffed in bags.


There was tight security as election materials were transported to various polling stations in Kakamega County on April 15, 2017. PHOTO | BENSON AMADALA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Shinyalu constituency in Kakamega County, election materials had not been delivered to polling stations by 3pm.

In Butere constituency, voting started at 11am following a delay in delivery of ballot papers to the polling stations.

Meanwhile, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, who is ODM deputy leader, denied he was interfering with the nominations in Shinyalu constituency to ensure former MP Justus Kizito Mugali clinched victory.

According to Lurambi legislator Raphael Otalo, ODM was not prepared to carry out the nominations.

“The party has marked areas where I feel they have some fishy things going on. Until now I don’t know who is the returning officer, I don’t have his number, nor his whereabouts,” Mr Otalo said.


Two aspirants from Shirere ward, David Ikunza and Anthony Luyundi, pulled out of the nominations, protesting the deployment of election officials related to their competitor while Anthony Luyundi withdrew his agents alleging bias.

Another aspirant David Ikunza said he has tried in vain calling party officials to submit complaints.

In Butsotso East ward, elections were suspended after the incumbent ward rep Frida Matati’s name was not captured on the ballot papers.

In Samburu County, Samburu West returning officer Collins Lempei said merging of the stations was done at the headquarters to cut on operational costs.

“The whole idea of merging stations and confusion on the ground is not a domestic issue.... It has made many give up on voting due to congestion in the five stations,” he said.


Kakamega Social hall, where tallying of votes of ODM nominations will be conducted, remains deserted on April 15, 2017. PHOTO | BENSON AMADALA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Turkana, Mr Lomodo, the Turkana South MP aspirant whose name was not on the ballot papers, said he was informed of the anomaly on Friday evening around 6pm and he contacted the ODM office in Nairobi to find out what was wrong.

“Elections Board chairperson Judy Pareno said that my name had been forgotten but it can be added with a biro pen, a move I have disagreed with,” he said.

He went on: “I condemn the act and urge ODM top leadership to intervene by ensuring no candidate is favoured against the other. If it is not democratic, I should be given time to choose another alternative party to run for the seat.”

Other candidates for the Turkana South parliamentary seat on ODM ticket are Mr Linus Ebenyo, Joseph Elim Jumapili and James Esuron Ekamais.

Reported by Benson Amadala, Linet Wafula, Godfrey Oundoh, George Sayagie, Joel Reyia and Sammy Lutta