An officer keeps guard as Wiper Party members wait to vote at Ziwa la Ng’ombe Primary School in Mombasa County. (Photo: Gideon Maundu/Standard)
Confusion marred Wiper Democratic Party primaries in Mombasa County Tuesday as crucial voting materials were missing in some polling centres.
There was unease at the Mvita Primary School in Mvita constituency when a handful of voters were turned away because their names did not appear in the party’s register.
And Haki Africa, a Mombasa-based civil society group, announced that it is monitoring party nominations in the Kenyan Coast.
“Haki Africa has written to the three major parties informing them of our plans to monitor the elections. Our field monitors are already on the ground for the Wiper, ODM and Jubilee Party nominations,” Haki Africa CEO Hussein Khalid said yesterday.
Wiper aspirant for Mombasa Woman Representative Afiya Rama protested over use of a new voter register which she claimed was a ploy to rig the elections.
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She also picked a quarrel with Wiper Secretary General Hassan Omar who accused her of spying for Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho.
“Our supporters came here early enough. But quite a number have been turned away. This is a clear ploy by some party mandarins to rig the elections in favour of their preferred candidates,” she said.
Rama’s insistence that genuine party members with national identity cards and Wiper registration cards be allowed to cast their ballots bore fruit after Presiding Officer Jackson Kimathi concurred with her.
“It was an issue at first and I was firmly following orders. I have, however, been duly informed to allow those whose names do not appear in the list we are using but have Wiper membership cards and National Identity cards to vote,” said Mr Kimathi.
The announcement come as a reprieve for Waroi Athman Kabogo who had initially been turned away from casting his vote.
Rama also claimed Omar was a Jubilee mole after he worked to frustrate Nyali MP Awiti Bolo and his Jomvu counterpart Badi Twalib into leaving the Wiper party.
“It was Hassan Omar’s highhandedness that led the two Mombasa legislators to ditch Wiper. Omar is working for Jubilee here,” she alleged.
Rama further protested that party members did not know up to yesterday where the county tallying will be conducted and accused Omar of hijacking the whole exercise.
Rama is battling it out for the Wiper ticket with Zam Zam Chimba Mohamed and claimed the senator was biased against her.
The story was different at the Ziwa La Ngombe Primary School in Nyali Constituency where a large crowd of party supporters lined up to cast their votes.
Long queues formed outside the polling centre as voting got under way at 8.30am.
But an aspirant for the Ziwa La Ngombe ward protested that the large number of voters lined up were not genuine Wiper party members.
“It is a sad day for us. We have evidence of diehard ODM supporters infiltrating our midst after they acquired members cards that are being dished outside the polling centre to vote,” Jimmy
Wambo Mutua said.
Mount Kenya University lecturer, Godfrey Ouma who is eyeing the Nyali MP seat in the Wiper nominations was beaming with confidence.
“I am delighted at the prospects of being given the mandate by Wiper supporters in Nyali to fly the Wiper flag at the General Election in August,” Ouma said.
He disclosed that they have planned a watertight election exercise to avoid having non-members participate in the nominations.
In Changamwe, nominations for the Member of County Assembly (MCA) failed to take off in the morning over missing ballot papers. By the time of going to press, Wiper supporters were still camping at the St Charles Lwanga Primary School as they awaited fresh ballot papers for MCA to be brought in.