Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti casts his vote at Mawego Primary School during the ODM nominations on Monday. Mr Awiti is defending his seat. [Photo:James Omoro, Standard]
The ODM nominations got off to a sluggish start in Homa Bay and Migori counties as aspirants in Siaya and Kisumu cried foul over the postponement of the voting.
The Orange party was on Monday slated to hold primaries in Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, Homa Bay, and Uasin Gishu counties. The nomination was, however, moved to today for Kisumu and Siaya and failed to take off in Uasin Gishu.
It was not clear why nominations were postponed in Kisumu and Siaya. Some officials said it was due to poor preparations while others blamed it on insecurity.
Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma, Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo, who wants to unseat Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga, Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo, and his Bondo counterpart, Gideon Ochanda, described the postponement as “shameful, disturbing, and suspect”.
The party’s Kisumu elections board was disbanded by the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal last week. The tribunal later directed the party’s National Elections Board to reconstitute it.
Kisumu Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga has called for the resignation of National Elections Board member Bob Arunga, who is the commissioner for Nyanza.
She claimed that Arunga was behind the raging confusion that saw nominations for Kisumu and Siaya cancelled at the eleventh hour.
In Homa Bay, more than 20 youth were injured in Rangwe after they were accosted by a crowd for allegedly trying to disrupt the exercise.
The youth, said to have been hired from outside Homa Bay by an aspirant, were disembarking from a vehicle yesterday at dawn when local residents confronted them. The residents then called the police.
Homa Bay police commander John Omusanga said officers arrested several young people after saving them from lynching.
Confusion marred the exercise in Homa Bay and Migori due to late arrival of ballot boxes and mix-ups in ballot papers.
The exercise was delayed for more than nine hours, with some polling stations receiving the materials at 4pm.
Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti said the delay may have been caused by logistical problems at the party headquarters.
“This delay occurred in all parts of the county, hence I feel it does not favour any aspirant. I believe the nomination will be fair,” said Awiti.
The governor said he would concede defeat if he is fairly beaten.
In Migori, some polling stations, such as Oruba Secondary School, had not received ballot boxes by 4.30pm.
Homa Bay ODM elections committee chairman Tom Chariga attributed the delay to shortage of vehicles to transport voting materials.
[Story by Scophine Otieno, James Omoro, Stanley Ongwae, Harold Odhiambo, Silah Koskei, Kepher Otieno and Kennedy Gachuhi]
ODM calls meeting to endorse Raila