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Violence in Gatundu South over missing ballot boxes

PHOTO:COURTESY

Violence broke out in Gatundu South after ballot boxes reportedly went missing during the Jubilee Party nominations.

Police were forced to shoot in the air to disperse an angry crowd at Gatundu Education Hall after 35 ballot boxes were found to be missing.

A Toyota Prado had its rear windscreen smashed after claims that it was ferrying ballot boxes and marked ballot papers.

The supporters of area MP Moses Kuria and his opponents, Joyce Ngugi and Kung’u Kibathi, exchanged blows outside the hall as the three aspirants exchanged bitter words before the police intervened.

County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga and Gatundu Deputy County Commissioner Stephen Kihara convened a crisis meeting to deal with the standoff that delayed the primaries until 11am.

However, voting went on without incident in Thika, Juja, Ruiru and other constituencies across the county. Long queues of voters were witnessed at various polling stations.

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Election materials were delivered on time unlike last Friday, when voting in many stations began in the afternoon.

There were enough ballot papers for all positions as Jubilee officials said they had made every effort to avoid last week’s scenario.

Security was also increased in all polling stations. Thika East OCPD Julius Kyumbule said they had deployed additional police officers in all violence hot spots.

“We have General Service Unit, regular and Administration police in all the hots pots such as Kiandutu, Kiganjo and Makongeni to deal with any eventualities,” said Mr Kyumbule.

Meanwhile, Thika MP Alice Ng’ang’a and her rival Morris Mburu have said the presence of observers in polling stations is meant to rig elections.

But Patrick Wainaina, also known as Wainaina wa Jungle, supported the idea of having observers.

He said observers would ensure that the polls were free and fair.

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