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Lack of polling clerks delays ODM primaries

Aspirants converge at Busara Primary School Umoja to chat the way forward as voters are locked outside for lack of clerks. (Photo: George Orido/Standard)

There was an air of uncertainty as voting to pick Orange Democratic Movement candidates in the entire Embakasi West Constituency was yet to kick off by as late as 1pm Sunday.

Voters arrived at various polling stations as early as 5am to pick their flag bearers for the four positions of MCA, MP, senator and woman representative.

But while there were only two Returning Officers for the entire constituency, there were no polling clerks nor presiding officers for the stations.

“We are here to make sure all our voters cast their ballots. That’s why we are consulting,” said MP aspirant Tom Agimba.

He and the rest of the aspirants had converged at Busara Primary School in Umoja to chart the way forward amid shouts of “Mlololongo! Mlolongo!” from impatient voters.

“If they don’t have ballot papers or if there are problems with the papers, then we can queue up and be physically counted. We are tired of waiting and no one is paying us to keep vigil here,” shouted a frustrated voter as the rest banged the metallic gates at the school, which were under lock and key.

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Although the ballot papers had arrived, initially the voters suspected they had not.

There was drama when one of the parliamentary aspirants, James Ngangu, accused Mr Agimba of planning to compromise the vote. But Agimba denied the accusation in an exchange that almost degenerated into a fist fight.

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