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Central scores big in peace

Nyeri gurbanertorial aspirant Mutahi Kagwe cast his vote at Kaheti primary school polling station in Mukurwei-ini, seven other polling center within the constituency did not start voting until 3:30 pm after voting materials were not delivered, April 26, 2017. PHOTO: Mose Sammy, Standard

The second attempt at Jubilee Party primaries went on peacefully in Mt Kenya region.

Unlike last week when the polls were cancelled, the turn out this week was low in an exercise that started as late as noon in some counties.

Claims of rigging also surfaced once again.

However, there was relative calm in Nyeri, Murang’a, Meru, Thararaka Nithi, Isiolo and Marsabit counties as voters streamed into polling stations.

But before the polls opened in Murang’a, 30 presiding officers were fired after allegations of misconduct in the previous nomination exercise that was cancelled on April 21.

Murang’a County Jubilee Party Chairperson Jane Wanjiru said the  officials were fired to ensure transparency prevailed in all the 584 polling centres.

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“All officers and clerks who had integrity issues were dismissed and we have already replaced them,” said Wanjiru.

The polling centres opened at 6am, as voters trickled in to cast their votes in a hotly contested race for gubernatorial ticket pitting incumbent Governor Mwangi Wa Iria against Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau.

In Kandara Constituency, a woman was arrested with 244 ballot papers at Karuma Primary School polling centre.

According to Kandara Police Station Boss Gregory Mutiso, a patrol team noticed the woman who was a clerk at the polling station acting suspiciously at around 8:15am. 

The team then searched her bag and found unmarked ballot papers similar to those being used in the exercise.

In Meru, in a sharp contrast to last Friday’s exercise, the Jubilee Party nominations in South Imenti and Central Imenti got off to a smooth start yesterday.

Polling stations opened early, with some voters saying they cast their votes a few minutes after six in the morning.

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In the neighbouring Tharaka Nithi County, voters confiscated 360 marked ballot papers from a vehicle whose driver escaped.

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