Ford Kenya nominations in Trans Nzoia were on Monday marred by chaotic scenes after the party decided not to send ballot papers for gubernatorial aspirants, thereby handing Governor Patrick Khaemba a direct ticket.
In Kiminini constituency, angry party supporters who had turned out in large numbers to vote for various aspirants including those eying the gubernatorial seat burnt 600 ballot papers at Masaba primary school.
“We are disappointed that the party has decided to give Governor Khaemba a ticket under the table yet we are prepared to participate in the nominations. We want this process stopped immediately,” said Mr Philip Wekhomba, a voter.
The party dispatched a media brief at the weekend indicating its management committee had resolved to have Mr Khaemba, the only Ford Kenya governor in the region, handed a direct ticket.
“The decision is meant to guard the party against a fractious nomination in a process that had attracted three other candidates,” read the dispatch by the party’s director of communications Tim Machi.
The supporters accused Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula of hypocrisy, saying he should have let party members choose their preferred candidates.
One of the gubernatorial aspirants, Mr Andrew Wanyonyi, said he had raised the issue with the party’s elections board.
“We are still waiting on the party to give us direction. They have to set another date for gubernatorial nominations but failure to that, I will seek for direction from my supporters,” he said.
GO FOR JUSTICE
The other two aspirants who were challenging Governor Khaemba, Moses Khaoya and John Mutenyo, also protested the anomaly saying they will go for nothing short of justice.
“We are going to accept nothing short of a nomination exercise since we fulfilled all the requirements for the primaries. Why were we not turned away if the ticket was reserved for the governor,” said Mr Khaoya.
Voting which began at 9am however went on in some polling centers where a tight race is expected on the senator’s slot with the incumbent Henry Ole Ndiema battling it out with, nominated colleague Catherine Mukite, County Speaker David Sifuna and Mr Andrew Wafula.