Constituencies receive poll stuff as voters assured of safety

Voting materials have been delivered to many constituencies for today’s disputed presidential election.

However, delivery of the materials in Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, Homa Bay and a few other counties was under tight security.

In Migori, a stand-off between protesters and police officers delayed the distribution, as youths blocked roads into and out of the town.

Two people were shot as police officers tried to clear the roads.

BALLOT PAPERS
Mr Mike Ochere, an administrator at Oruba Nursing Home in Migori, said doctors had attended to a man with a gunshot wound to his chest.

Most sub counties in Narok received ballot papers Wednesday afternoon.

“All materials have arrived. We will distribute them to various polling stations,” Narok North returning officer Mark Lempaka said.

In Nyandarua, ballot papers dispatched to Kinangop, Ol Joro Orok, Ol Kalou, Ndaragwa and Kipipiri constituencies also arrived in the afternoon.

Other election materials, including boxes and stationery, landed on Wednesday night.

TRANSPORT
In Kinangop and Ndaragwa constituencies, presiding officers said bad weather and poor roads were likely to affect distribution of the materials.

In Nakuru, election manager Silas Rotich said ballot papers were expected by Wednesday evening.

“We will dispatch them to polling centres as soon as they arrive,” he said.

At the Coast, preparations for the repeat presidential poll went on smoothly.

In Kisauni constituency, returning officer Alphonce Tsuwi said voting materials would not be taken to hotspots at night.

“We will issue the materials but presiding officers will spend the night here waiting for dispatch early in the morning tomorrow,” he said.

VIOLENCE
Nyali Constituency returning officers Mwanajuma Gandani said all ballot boxes and papers had arrived at the tallying centre on time, ready for collection by presiding officers and their deputies.

In Kwale County, Matuga Constituency returning officer Kassim Kaema said polling centres would have received voting materials by the close of business Wednesday.

Acting Deputy County Commissioner Mwangi Kahiro assured residents of security during and after the election.

“There are no hotspots in Kwale County but we will not leave anything to chance,” the administrator said.

Authorities in Kisii and Kakamega counties also assured residents of their security ahead of the presidential election.

POLICE OFFICERS

Kisii Administration Police Commander Martin Kibet said two officers had been assigned to every polling station while General Service Unit personnel would patrol major towns in the region.

“Patrols began today and they will continue until the election is over.

“We assure residents who will take part in the election and Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission officers of their security,” Mr Kibet said.

In Kakamega, Western Region Police Coordinator Moses Ombati said officers would be sent to strategic places to respond to any outbreak of violence.

“We are aware criminals are planning to intimidate voters and disrupt the presidential election.

“Let them know that our officers are prepared to deal with them,” Mr Ombati said.

SAFETY
In Nyamira, returning officers expressed safety concerns in some areas.

They said their fears were occasioned by statements from some political leaders from the region, urging residents to boycott the presidential election.

In Bomet County, returning officer William Ndung’u said election materials for the 728 polling stations had been received.

Ballot papers and boxes also arrived in Mt Kenya counties in readiness for the election as leaders rolled out different measures to increase voter turnout.

MOBILISERS
In Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Wajir and Mandera, ballot papers had arrived by noon and distribution of materials was ongoing in the evening.

Nyeri lawmakers said they had hired 18,300 mobilisers for the election to ensure maximum turnout.

Nyeri Town Constituency returning officer Jenifer Mugambi appealed for a high turnout, assuring voters of their security.

Security has also been beefed up in the 661 polling stations in Kirinyaga.

County Commissioner Mohammed Mbiriki said enough officers had been dispatched to the stations to counter any possible lawlessness.

SUCCESS
In Wajir East, returning officer Abdikadir Sheikh Abdi said all ballot materials for the constituency had already been received by evening.

“We are doing the final touches and are convinced the election will take place smoothly tomorrow. We are ready,” Mr Abdi told reporters.

Mandera County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia said security agencies on the Somali border county were ready for the presidential repeat election.

“Our security systems and arrangements are in place to ensure we have a peaceful and secure polling tomorrow,” he said.

RAINS
In the North Rift, electoral commission officials exuded confidence that the presidential poll would go on as planned.

Security officers also assured voters of their safety, saying no one would be allowed to trample on other people’s right to vote.

West Pokot Police County Commander Mathew Kuto said law enforcement officers had been deployed to different areas to provide security.

In Uasin Gishu, heavy rains pounding many parts almost hampered the distribution of materials on Wednesday.

PEACE
In Kesses, part of the road leading to the constituency tallying centre at Cheptiret Secondary School was cut off.

This prompted the county government to dispatch a team to help repair the road.

“Save for heavy rains, we are ready for the election. We call on the residents to be peaceful and turn up in large numbers to exercise their democratic right,” constituency presiding officer Justus Naliakho said.

SUSPENDED STAFF
County returning officer Jackton Nyonje said IEBC personnel suspected to have engaged in unethical activities during the August elections had been suspended and new ones recruited.

However, Mr Nyonje did not reveal the number of those sent home.

“We suspended all officers who were found guilty of engaging in deeds that were contrary to the set standards of the commission’s workers. However, only few officers were found guilty,” Mr Nyonje told reporters in Eldoret town on Wednesday.

Like his counterparts elsewhere, Turkana County Commissioner Seif Matata assured residents of their safety before, during and after the presidential election rerun.

Reports by Elisha Otieno, George Sayagie, Waikwa Maina, Joseph Openda, Linet Amuli, Lamech Willy, Gitonga Marete, Philip Muyanga, Fadhili Fredrick, Elgar Machuka, Benson Amadala, Henry Nyarora, Bruhan Makong, Manase Otsialo, Grace Gitau, George Munene, Geoffrey Rono, Oscar Kakai, Wycliff Kipsang, Brenda Gamonde, Titus Oteba, Titus Ominde and Lillian Chebore

The IEBC said it had sent election materials to most constituencies countrywide.

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