Chaotic scenes paint Kisii Jubilee polls

Kisii County Jubilee Party branch chairman Sam Nyairo addresses supporters at Itierio Boys' High School tallying centre under tight security on April 26, 2017 after chaos broke out. PHOTO | AGGREY OMBOKI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Hell broke loose at the County tallying centre in Itierio Boys when voters protested the announcement of George Karina as winner of Bomorenda ward Jubilee ticket.

The voters claimed that Darius Mosoti, Mr Karina’s rival, was leading in all the polling stations in the ward by a considerable margin and there was no way that he could have lost the election.

"We have camped at the polling stations since 6am. His total tally was 1,556 votes as compared to his opponent who had only 300 votes," they said.

It took almost an hour to restore calm after the voters attacked the presiding officer who had announced the results.

Police took charge and ordered all civilians out of the county tallying hall.

Voters screamed at the party officials in the room, banged tables and threw chairs in anger and chanted slogans demanding a recount of the votes.

"This cannot be allowed to happen. We have campaigned from house to house personally wooing and witnessed the announcement of results at polling centres. The announced result is fraudulent," said Ms Doris Onditi, an agent of Mr Mosoti.

The Party Chairman Sam Nyairo, trying to calm the voters told them to launch their complaints with the party's elections tribunal the soonest.

The crowd however insisted at having a recount of votes saying they would not leave the tallying centre until Mr Mosoti was declared winner and handed the party ticket.

Mr Nyairo said that all complaints should be registered with the party’s elections tribunal “run by a judge qualified to serve at the Court of Appeal.”

He said some aspirants were running to court yet the party has a machinery of solving election disputes.

"Candidates have a right to complain but they should do it with the elections tribunal and not the courts," Mr Nyairo said.

He also asked aspirants who lost to concede defeat and support winners against opponents from other parties.

"We have a bigger challenge of defeating our opponents from other parties and we can only do so if we support each other as members of one party," he said.

Jubilee nominations got off to a shaky start in Kisii County amid protests and claims of election malpractices.

Protests rocked the Kitutu Chache North elections after disappointed voters disrupted the voting in most polling centres.

There were no elections for MPs in Kitutu Chache North after incumbent MP Jimmy Angwenyi was allegedly given a direct ticket.

Dr Ndemo Ongera led his supporters as they raided several polling stations, smashed ballot boxes and tore ballot papers in protest against the JP decision.

The supporters who were ferried in Jubilee branded vehicles were armed with crude weapons and stones.

At Mekonge Primary School, they stoned and broke the windows of a Toyota Fielder belonging to a Mr Nyakundi.

The rampaging mob destroyed election materials in Nyagoye, Mekonge, Tambacha and Masakwe Kitutu Chache North after it emerged that incumbent Jubilee MP Jimmy Angwenyi had allegedly been given a direct ticket.

"No Ndemo, no elections!" chanted the protesters as they waved the ballot papers they had seized from the stations.

"We will not allow elections to take place without Dr Ndemo, Mr Francis Ombito, a supporter," shouted.

Copies of the ballot papers in the Nation's possession showed there were original and photocopied ballots for the MCA and woman representative positions.

JP had earlier given direct nominations to MPs Joel Onyancha (Bomachoge Borabu), Stephen Manoti (Bobasi), Simeon Ogari (Bomachoge Chache), Richard Tongi (Nyaribari Chache).

A section of area residents were disappointed with the lack of parliamentary elections, claiming it was an indicator of election malpractice.

"How can Jubilee allow this kind of impunity and yet its officials assured us yesterday that no aspirant had been given a direct ticket?" asked Kennedy Ratemo, a voter in Nyagonyi polling centre.

Ballot papers were strewn all over the roads in the sub-county in the wake of the orgy of chaos and destruction.

Attempts by the Nation team to get a comment from the aspirant failed as he refused to address the press.

Phone calls to Mr Jimmy Angwenyi's line also failed to go through as the lines were busy.
Police have not arrested anyone in connection with the chaos.

Kisii County Commander Agnes Mudambi said her officers had not been attacked by the protesters.

"The protesters seemed interested in the ballot boxes and once they had destroyed them, they left the polling centres without damaging anything," said the police boss.

"At Ragogo polling Centre in Kitutu Chache North, he exercise started at 9.30am with voting only scheduled for the MCA and woman rep seats," she said.

The situation at the polling centre remained relatively calm until the affected aspirants arrived with goons in tow.

"At around 10.15am three persons identified as Dr Alfred ndemo, Atuti Ndemo and Joseph Nyangau, all aspirants for the parliamentary seat, arrived at the polling station with a group of about 100 rowdy youths," she said.

She said the mob stormed the polling centre, destroyed the ballot boxes and also carried away the ballot papers for the MCA seat allegedly because ballot papers for the seat were not availed.

"As a result of the attack, voting was consequently stopped. No persons were however injured or arrested in the incident," said Ms Mudambi.

She said the calm had returned to the affected areas, adding that the situation was under control.

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