A senior education officer has been arrested for attempting to influence recruitment of poll officials in Marsabit.
The officer had been communicating on phone with an Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) officer based in Saku Constituency for the past one week. The officer wanted 46 presiding officers, their deputies and clerks to be recruited from his preferred list.
Those in the list are allied to one political camp in the county, in a plan allegedly aiming to rig next month’s elections.
Wednesday, detectives arrested the man at a hotel in Isiolo town after 12pm as he was handing over a Sh200,000 bribe to the IEBC official.
“The man had a list of persons he wanted the returning officer to recruit. The officer (from IEBC) contacted us and it led to today’s arrest,” said EACC coordinator Ignatius Wekesa in his Isiolo town office.
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The detectives had been recording the suspect’s phone conversations and his text messages.
“When the election official contacted us last week, we asked him that they arrange a meeting in Isiolo,” revealed Mr Wekesa.
The poll official said the man wanted him to recruit members of a political camp to preside over the polls in various polling stations in Saku Constituency.
At least 70 per cent of voters in the area are illiterate and presiding officers mark the ballots for them, albeit in the presence of all the candidates’ agents.
From his phone records, detectives found out that the education official had been sent by the spouse of a governorship candidate.
The suspect was recording statements for the better part of the afternoon.
Wekesa said the man would be detained until Thursday as investigations went on.
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“We shall refer the issue to the Director of Public Prosecutions,” said the EACC official.