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Low voter turn-out hits by-elections

By Njagih, Mosota and Ngige | Published Mon, September 17th 2012 at 00:00, Updated September 17th 2012 at 12:19 GMT +3

By Francis Ngige in Kangema, Mang'oa Mosota in Ndhiwa and Moses Njagih in Kajiado North

By-elections in Kajiado North Constituency continue  with reports that Kashorda was turned away at Township Primary School as his name was not on the register but he eventually voted at at Ngong PCEA church, where he is rightly registered. Sakuda voted at Kibuka Primary School, Mositet at Arap Moi Primary School, and Kinyanjui at Embu Bul Primary School.

Earlier, Ole Sakuda, the TNA candidate and his team complains that the presiding officers in some polling stations are misguiding illiterate voters and giving his votes to other candidates. He says they have reported to IEBC two incidents at Pakasi and El Masi polling stations.

The turn up is more impressive in rural Maasai.

The polling booths in Kajiado North opened at 6am. The first people to cast their ballots appaered shortly before 7am. There are 118,854 registered voters in the constituency.

Polling clerks are largely idle in the voting stations. No major incidents have been reported.

The contest is billed to between TNA's Moses ole Sakuda,  Peter ole Mositet of ODM and Solomon Kinyanjui of Wiper Democratic Party and Peter Kashorda of UDF.

Others in the Kajiado North race are Peter Munyu Munene-KNC, Paul Gichinga-Kanu, Andrew Nangurai-Restore and Build Kenya, Ruth Wanjiru Enkesen-Coservative party and Anthony Simel Keen-PNU.

In Kangema, voting commenced in Kangema with most of polling stations recording low number of voters.

The polling stations opened without any hitches at 6.00 am and are expected to close at 5.00 pm.

In most of the polling centres we visited, there were hardly any queues as just a few people had turned up for the exercise.

The constituency with over 37, 500 registered voters was represented by former Environment Minister the late John Michuki.

Six candidates are battling it out in the by-election.

The by-election is billed as a contest between Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and a number of political parties from Mt Kenya region.

The National Alliance (TNA) which has Uhuru’s support has supported Tirus Ngahu who is facing stiff competition from Kimani Mugo of PNU and Simon Mwangi of United Democratic Party.

Mkenya Solidarity Party led by former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga is also fighting it out with its candidate John Gathogo also expected to put up a spirited battle.

Mwangi of UDF was the first to cast his ballot at Nyakahura Primary school.

Ngahu who is viewed as a front runner made an appearance at the tallying centre Muguru ACK hall where he expressed confidence of capturing the seat.

“We are hoping that all goes well. I’m hopeful that the voters will elect MP asthe next MP,” said Ngahu.

In Ndhiwa, voters began casting their ballots shortly after 6am but it was a similar case of low trun out. There arew 48,616 registered voters spread in 140 polling stations.

Police said at least eight people were arrested in connection with poll violence in Ndhiwa.

Returning officer Morris Simiyu said by 10am he estimated the turn out to be between 4-8 percent and described as very low.

Augustino Neto of ODM, Kanu's Tom Alilia and TNA's Rosemary Rumo are battling to succeed the seat left behind by Orwa Ojodeh who died in helicopter crash with Prof George Saitoti Saitoti on June 10.

At Ndhiwa Primary school there were less than 10 voters by the time of filing this report.

Neto voted at 7.45am, Kanyangati Primary School, Rumo voted at 8.45am at Akana Primary school. Alilia was yet to cast his vote but registered claims that his supporters were being intimidated.

Mr Simiyu said a motor cycle operator who was attacked at Magina area, was a robbery case and not related to the by-election.

"There were reports going around that the attack was in relation to the by-election, but it not so,” he said.