IEBC moves three Mombasa tallying centres over insecurity 

A policeman keeps guard at the Aldina Visram High school, the Mombasa County tallying centre on August 8, 2022.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit I Nation Media Group

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has transferred three tallying centres in three constituencies in Mombasa County due to insecurity.

Mombasa Returning Officer Swalha Yusuf said the county tallying centre was moved from the Bandari Maritime Academy to the Kenya School of Government, while that of Changamwe constituency was shifted from Port Reitz to the St Mary’s Catholic Church Community Hall.

The Likoni constituency tallying centre in Mtongwe was moved to the Likoni YWCA hall.

“We have moved the three tallying centres after a security assessment which indicated they are in unsafe areas,” Ms Yusuf said.

Meanwhile, the IEBC has marked Kisauni, Nyali and Likoni constituencies as election violence hotspots.

“We have deployed a special police team, among them GSU officers, to ensure there is a peaceful election. But we have adequate police officers in every polling station and about 20 police in every tallying centre,” the official stated.

The IEBC has also dispatched voting materials to constituencies.

To minimise chances of interference in voting by politicians, candidates will be given priority to vote at their registered voting centres.

“We have asked politicians and candidates not to hold any meeting and minimise their movements within polling centres and we shall give them priority at the voting centre so as to reduce congestion,” said Ms Yusuf.

On Monday, there was confusion after ballot papers for the Kilifi governor’s race were found in a box marked for Mombasa at Allidina Visram High School, the Mvita constituency tallying centre.

Mvita Returning Officer Sudi Masha said the error would be rectified. 

In Kisuani Constituency, there were no ballot papers for governor. Returning Officer Wario Ibrahim said there is an issue with ballot papers for the governor position , but added the matter would be addressed by IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati.

"There is an issue yes , but it is beyond us. We are waiting for direction from him (Chebukati)," he said.

He indicated that they are in the process of dispatching ballot papers for the other five elective posts to various polling stations.

In Nyali, presiding officers were Monday afternoon waiting to be dispatched to their respective stations with with ballot papers.

Ballot boxes displayed at the Mokowe Arid Zone Lamu West Constituency tallying centre

Photo credit: Kalume Kazuungu I Nation Media Group

Deputy Returning officer Hashim Ndoro said they have received all ballot papers for all positions and are ready for distribution.

Similarly in Jomvu, ballot papers for governor were yet to be received by the commission's officials.

In Kwale, at least 63 inmates in different prisons will exercise their democratic right to vote.

Returning officer Obadiah Gacoki said the prisoners will only be allowed to vote for presidential candidates.

The Kwale Main Prison was listed as a polling station and will only serve inmates, according to Mr Gacoki.

He also raised concerns about what he said was an increase in the number of agents at polling stations because candidates were in different coalitions while also belonging to their parties.

He said that because every party was allowed to have their agents, this may cause congestion at polling centres.

“The are many aspirants, and this means their agents are also going to be many. We have raised this with the candidates and have agreed that they will cooperate. They will, however, be present during the opening and closing of the station,” he said.

To enter polling stations, the agents will be required to produce an appointment letter signed by the candidate they are representing.

In Lamu, IEBC Manager Maro Ade told Nation.Africa the agency was working to ensure voting materials reach their destinations on time.

A chopper, he said, would be used to deliver the materials in far-flung areas.

Areas that are hard to reach in Lamu include Faza, the main constituency tallying centre for Lamu East sub-county, and adjacent islands such as Kizingitini, Mkokoni, Kiwayu, Ndau.

These areas are only accessible by boat.

“We shall start ferrying election materials to the required places of Lamu from Monday. All issues revolving around distribution of the election materials, including how we shall be accessing the far-flung villages and islands of Lamu, have been taken care of,” said Mr Ade.

Meanwhile, voters and residents in terror-prone Boni forest, villages on the Kenya-Somalia border and across Lamu County have been assured of their security before, during and after the August 9 elections.

Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia has said all security arrangements have been finalised.

The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), led by its chairman Archbishop Martin Kivuva, asked Kenyans to remain peaceful.

Reporting by Anthony Kitimo, Siago Cece, Brian Ocharo, Philip Muyanga, Winnie Atieno, Farhiya Hussein and Kalume Kazungu