There were dramatic scenes in Baringo during Friday’s aborted Jubilee Party nominations.
Voters stopped the exercise after they realised ballot papers were not enough while in some cases, seals of ballot boxes had been tampered with.
Ballot papers supplied for Eldama Ravine constituency, for instance, were 16,000 compared to 48,000 registered voters. Governor Benjamin Cheboi, who is facing a stiff challenge from former Baringo Knut Secretary General Stanley Kiptis, was chased by voters at Eldama Ravine County Hall for allegedly planning to rig the primaries.
“The hecklers are goons hired by Kiptis who is already sensing defeat,” said Cheboi who lost his cool and went physical with a voter. But Kiptis claimed the governor had planned to rig the vote.
Earlier, voters blocked a lorry which had ballot boxes from delivering the material. During an earlier delivery, it was discovered that 3,200 gubernatorial ballot papers were missing. The seals of the ballot boxes were also tampered with.
“I received the materials and signed them. I only realised later that they had been tampered with,” said Returning Officer Winfred Kaimugul, who could not convince the agitated aspirants.
Police impounded a vehicle belonging to Governor Cheboi after the public raised concerns that it was moving around with occupants allegedly bribing voters. “This vehicle without registration plates has been moving around since Monday night with occupants dishing out money,” said Benson Kiprono, a resident of Eldama Ravine. Aspirants for various seats later held a meeting with the County Elections Board chairman Joel Koima where it was agreed that the exercise be postponed till Tuesday.
Baringo Central MP Sammy Mwaita and his Baringo North MP William Cheptumo also did not escape the wrath of angry voters.
In Kabarnet town, Mwaita’s campaign posters were burnt down while Cheptumo was not allowed to address voters at Kabartonjo town.