Mombasa voters flock to poll centres despite governor ballot hitch

Voters queue at the Lamu Fort Polling station.

Photo credit: Kalume Kazungu I Nation

Voters in Mombasa County turned up at polling stations in large numbers though the electoral commission suspended governor elections on Monday.

But Nation.Africa observed that in Mvita constituency, voting materials were still being ferried to polling stations as late as 9am.

Delays were reported because of late dispatching of election materials from Allidina Visram High School, the constituency’s tallying centre.

Voters confirm their details at the Laza Primary School in Tana River County.

Photo credit: Stephen Odour I Nation

Some of the affected polling stations were Tononoka Social Hall and Mvita and Majengo primary schools.

Voters had to wait in chilly weather for the materials.

"We were here early. We wanted to vote and go home as usual," said Ms Margaret Kisiengo, a voter at Mvita Primary station.

Mr Peter Pundo expressed frustration, noting that he was at the Tononoka Social Hall station as early as 4am.

"No election materials have arrived and there is no sign of any IEBC officials. Yesterday, there elections for governor were postponed. Why are we this confused? This is a clear sign that the commission did not plan themselves accordingly," Mr Pundo said.

Kenyans brave light showers to vote at the Star of the Sea Primary School Polling Station in Mvita, Mombasa County. 

Photo credit: Kennedy Kimanthi I Nation

At the Kongowea Social Hall in Nyali constituency, Mr Mwaniki Musili applauded IEBC officials, saying voting was going on smoothly.

At the Maweni polling station in Nyali, a Kiems kit failed to work for around 30 minutes, causing delays.

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, who cast his vote at the Uwanja wa Mbuzi polling centre some minutes before 9am, expressed concerns about the slow pace of voting.

On the suspension of voting for governor in Mombasa and Kakamega counties, Mr Joho said it was surprising that the two counties, which are ODM strongholds, were affected.

ODM Mombasa governor candidate Abdulswamad Nassir at the Mvita Primary Station polling station. He urged residents to turn up and vote despite the IEBC postponement of the Mombasa gubernatorial election.

Photo credit: Farhiya Hussein I Nation Media Group

But he urged residents to come out in large numbers and exercise their democratic right to vote.

In Jomvu constituency, Ms Jumwa Thoya said she has been voting at the Amani Primary School polling station for about 30 years.

But the 79-year-old grandmother was astonished when she could not find her details.

IEBC officials told her she was supposed to vote in Kwale. She was also told her fingerprints could not be read.

"How come I cannot exercise my constitutional right yet I have been voting here throughout my adulthood?” she protested.

Agents confirm their details with the IEBC officials at Chilolapwa Primary School in Ukunda, Kwale County.

Photo credit: Siago Cece I Nation

“I even verified my details, which showed where I am supposed to vote. Is this some kind of joke? I am not leaving this polling station until

I vote for my candidates."

In Kisauni, most voters were disappointed to learn that elections for governor had been suspended.
Mr Peter Okello, the first person to cast his ballot at the Pastor Karisa polling station, was upset that he could not vote for governor.

In Taita Taveta, most polling stations opened at 6am.

An IEBC official helps a disabled man to vote at Social polling station in Voi, Taita Taveta County.

Photo credit: Lucy Mkanyika I Nation

At the Mwanyambo and Social polling centres in Voi constituency, long queues had formed by 4am.

Some residents went to the extent of blowing whistles in Voi town residential areas to urge locals to go out to vote.

County Returning Officer Eisha Mohammed said voting kicked off on time.

"So far, voting is seamless. We don't have any hitches," he said.

In Lamu, the governor’s ballot box at the Hongwe polling station had no lid.

Voters at Dabado primary polling station in Kilifi County.

Photo credit: Anthony Kitimo I Nation

This caused delays, with the station opening past 8am after IEBC officials replaced the lid.

Lamu County IEBC Manager Maro Ade confirmed the incident, saying it was caused by a mix-up during the ferrying of election materials.

At the Lamu Fort polling station in Lamu Town, long queues could be spotted by 5am.

Nurein Zein said he arrived at the station at exactly 4.30am, just after his morning prayers.

Voters queue outside Kongowea Social Hall  Polling Station in Mombasa.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit I Nation Media Group

In Kilifi, Kiems kit failed to work at the Isaack Nyondo polling station in Rabai Constituency.

At Dabaso Primary, where ODM governor candidate Gideon Munga'aro voted, one stream was delayed until 8.45am after Kiems kits failed.

Mr Munga'aro was satisfied with the process but said the IEBC would have to extend voting hours to recover lost time.

"So far, all is well and we are impressed with voter turnout and the work IEBC is doing," said Mr Munga'ro.

PAA governor candidate George Kithi was expected to vote at the Kamale polling station in Magarini.

78-year-old Mwanaisha Mohamedi has her finger inked after voting at Ziwani Primary School in Kwale County.

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi I Nation

At Kombani Primary School in Kwale’s Matuga constituency, voting was delayed until 9am, as IEBC workers and materials had not arrived at polling stations.

Governor aspirant Fatuma Achani, who was supposed to vote at the polling station, raised concerns about delays in voting.

"We almost thought that this was sabotage because the areas where voting has been delayed are my strongholds. But I have faith that I am going to win," she said after casting her vote.

Some areas in Kinango also experienced delays.

 A man votes at Ziwani Primary School in Kwale County.

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi I Nation

At Tana River’s Kibokoni Primary School, voting kicked off late following a network hitch.

The situation was resolved and voting kicked off at 7.45am.

At Mikinduni Primary School, residents decried a sluggish process, noting that the procedures were too long and time-consuming. 

Reporting by Farhiya Hussein, Brian Ocharo, Philip Muyanga, Anthony Kitimo, Stephen Oduor, Kalume Kazungu, Lucy Mkanyika, Siago Cece, Maureen Ongala