Voter bribery, delays mar start of Kibra by-election – VIDEO
Kibra residents in Nairobi County are voting in a high-stakes parliamentary by-election on Thursday seen as a do-or-die between Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto.
Polls opened at 6am and long lines could be seen in polling stations across the constituency’s five wards – Sarang’ombe, with the highest number of registered voters at 30,754, Woodley/Kenyatta Golf Course (28,066), Makina (25,695), Laini Saba (17,455) while Lindi has 16,688.
There are 24 candidates battling for the 118,658 votes.
However, it is not all smooth at Jamhuri Primary polling station in the same ward. At one of the streams, the biometric machine used to verify the voters’ identity is not working properly.
The frustrated voters, who have been on the queue since 6am, say that this is not the first time that they have experienced delays at the polling station. They claim the same hitches occurred in previous elections in 2017.
ONLY FIVE PEOPLE
By 8am, only five people had cast their ballots at the affected stream with 672 registered voters.
In Laini Saba, voters at the Mashimoni polling station claimed there were incidences of bribery with Sh200 notes being disbursed.
Kimilili MP Dismas Baraza, who was at the station, was also heckled.
But with heavy police presence, the situation calmed down.
Ford Kenya candidate Khamisi Butichi, addressing the press after voting at Mashimoni, said several cases of voter bribery were also reported in Lindi, and Sarang’ombe wards.
“We have witnessed three cases of some people trying to bribe voters to vote for a particular candidate. We will forward the evidence to police in the next one hour for action,” Mr Butichi said.
The four parties are leading the pack in the battle for MP seat.
ODM has fielded the late Okoth’s brother Bernard Imran Okoth, while ruling Jubilee party is fronting football star McDonald Mariga.