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Nyeri Jubilee Elections Board in limbo as chair and members resign

Kiambu Women Representative Anne Nyokabi Gatheca votes at Ruiru Secondary school during Jubilee Party nominations. She expressed confidence that she would get the ticket. [PHOTO:KAMAU MAICHUHIE/STANDARD]

Jubilee’s Nyeri County elections board was  left in a crisis after the chairman, George Kibira, and one member, Nelson Mbekenya, resigned.

This emerged even as Embu Governor Martin Wambora claimed there was a plot to rig him out.

Speaking after voting at Runyenjes Town Hall yesterday around 3pm, Mr Wambora said the officials had deliberately delayed voting in his strongholds to lock out his supporters.

“…the exercise started late… How come voting started early in other far-flung areas and not here, which is close to Kyeni Girls, where election materials were stored?” he questioned.

In Nyeri, a closed-door meeting convened by the Jubilee Party elections board to discuss the management of nominations ended in disarray after Mr Kibira walked out of the meeting, saying he was through chairing the board and went on to draft a resignation letter.

“I am not a member of that group any more, I am done with them and I do not want any part of this process,” he protested.

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After he stormed out, the remaining members tried to salvage the meeting as the press patiently waited for an update on the resolutions from the remaining eight. But after an hour Nelson Mbekenya walked out of the meeting and said he too had resigned because he could no longer work with the team as constituted.

“I have resigned because of the failure to communicate by the national elections board to the county team, leaving us with no clue as to what they are planning,” he revealed.

He said there was poor coordination and preparation of the nominations process from the national and regional officials, leaving the board in the dark over what was happening.

“I have been trying to call the county returning officer for the past two days and he hasn’t been picking up my calls, he later showed up a few hours to the nominations after being in Kirinyaga County,” Mr Mbekenya added.

He said the board was not informed when materials arrived at 11pm on Monday, leaving them with no secure place to store them.

“We are being sidelined and ignored, there is no adequate facilitation to do our jobs and poor preparation for the exercise,” Mbekenya added.

Only four members of the board remained in the room.

And in Uasin Gishu and West Pokot counties, nominations got off to a slow start. In Uasin Gishu, delays were experienced in most polling stations around Eldoret, Soy and Kesses over a mix-up of voting materials.

Election officials had to return ballot papers meant for Ainabkoi Constituency found at the Uasin Gishu County Assembly, the constituency tallying centre for Soy. A similar incident was experienced at Cheptiret tallying centre, but the anomaly was later rectified.

Ballot papers used were black and white, unlike those used in the failed Friday nomination which were coloured.

Three woman representative aspirants in Uasin Gishu; former Judiciary Registrar Gladys Shollei, Ruth Kemboi and Irene Malel had to find a quick solution to avert a crisis that was building up due to unavailability of ballot papers.

“We realised that four polling centres were missing woman representative post ballot papers and we had to resolve the issue,” said Ms Shollei.

In West Pokot, MPs Philip Rotino and Regina Nyeris as well as five MCAs ditched the party for Chama Cha Mashinani. [Additional reporting by Lydiah Nyawira, Joseph Muchiri, Silah Koskei and Irissheel Shanzu]

 

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