2022 polls: Long wait for declaration of Narok governor results

Patrick Ntutu

Narok gubernatorial candidates Richard Moitalel Ole Kenta of ODM and Patrick Ntutu of UDA.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The announcement of Narok County Governor race results may take longer than expected after the exercise was called off on Sunday, following a standoff at the Maasai Mara tallying centre.

The Narok governorship race results announcement has now been moved to the electoral body National tallying centre in Bomas of Kenya, due to security reasons.

The Narok County Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Returning Officer Dr Sidney Namulungu in a letter seen by Nation announced transfer of the announcement from the County Tallying centre at Maasai Mara University to Nairobi.

"Due to breach of peace at the county tallying centre, it will be impossible to continue with the declaration of the county governance election results at the tallying centre," read the letter.

The letter added: "Owing to the foregoing proceedings at the IEBC tallying center at Maasai Mara University are hereby moved to the national tallying center at the Bomas of Kenya for purposes of declaration of governor results on August 14, 2022.

Supporters of Richard Moitalel Ole Kenta (Orange Democratic Movement) and Patrick Ntutu (United Democratic Alliance) on Sunday clashed as they both claimed victory.

The two groups also accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission returning officer of unnecessarily delaying the release of the results.

Both Mr Ntutu and Mr Kenta claimed victory and demanded to be handed IEBC election certificates.

One group protested over vote irregularities in one of the constituencies, vowing to ensure no announcement of the winner is made.

The delay in the announcement of results has heightened tension between UDA's Patrick Ntutu and ODM's Mr Moitalel ole Kenta supporters.

The Kilgoris constituency results for the governorship were delayed on Friday after Mr Kenta and his deputy Mr William Oltetia stormed the constituency tallying centre at Kilgoris Boys High School claiming the process had been rigged.

This made Returning Officer Ms Lilah Lilumah suspend the vote tallying.

On Saturday, the results were set to be announced at the county tallying centre at around 7pm but the exercise failed after chaos erupted.

 In the five constituencies of Narok East, Narok West, Emurua Dikir, Narok South and Narok North results declared, Mr Ntutu was leading with 135,650 against Mr Kenta's 113,500 with Kilgoris pending.

Mr Kenta claimed vote swapping in some polling stations, an issue he said pointed into massive rigging.

Mr Kenta has since called for the cancellation of the entire exercise.

"We have five people in court for (allegedly) manipulating election results, I want a vote recount," said Mr Kenta.

Mr Ntutu has accused Narok County Commissioner Isaac Masinde of failing to provide security to the County Returning Officer.

"Justice delayed is justice denied. I don't see the reason why all other candidates for woman rep, senator MPs and MCAs have been given their certificates. What is special about this governorship seat?" lamented Mr Ntutu.

He claimed that he had won the election with over 160,000 votes against his opponent's 140,000 votes.

"The IEBC completed its work. The returning officers in all the six constituencies submitted their results but the county security team has refused to protect the CRO to enable him to announce the results," claimed Mr Ntutu.

Mr Ntutu’s supporters briefly interrupted transport along the Narok/Bomet Road before they were dispersed by anti-riot police.

 Following the simmering tension, the county security held a crisis meeting at the county commissioner's office.

Mr Masinde called on the IEBC to resolve the dispute to end the growing anxiety.

He called on IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati to intervene.

To enhance security, Mr Masinde has banned gatherings in Narok town and asked the two gubernatorial candidates to stop mobilising their supporters to throng the town.

Already, the IEBC has already handed over election certificates to Woman Rep-elect Rebecca Tonkei of UDM and Senator-elect Ledama ole Kina of ODM.