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Chaos as Jubilee picks elections board team ahead of nominations

By Standard Team | Published Tue, March 21st 2017 at 00:00, Updated March 20th 2017 at 22:40 GMT +3
Acting Kericho OCPD Nathan Sanya and area OCS Abdirahaman Mohammed arrest Kipkelion East parliamentary aspirant Vincent Korir after chaos broke out during election of county elections board officials yesterday. [PHOTO: NIKKO TANUI/STANDARD]

There was drama in Nakuru as picking of Jubilee county elections board members turned chaotic ahead of the party’s nominations.

Trouble started when aspirants for various seats from Nakuru Town East and Nakuru Town West disagreed over the list of nominees to the board.

There were fisticuffs as aspirants from the two constituencies maintained hard position during the elections overseen by the party’s national election’s board vice chairman Veska Kangogo Monday.

Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria bitterly opposed a nominee fronted by aspirants from Nakuru Town West and tried to front a nominee from his contituency but he was outnumbered.

Later, Kangogo directed the two sides to present their preferred nominees before making the final decision.

The elections that brought together both aspirants and current legislators were conducted to pick nine officials to the elections board.

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Later, Ms Kangogo told aspirants the party will not use smart cards Jubilee launched recently after most of them opposed the documents.

“All that will be required during the nominations, to be conducted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), is one’s national Identity Card,” Kangogo said.

Governor Kinuthia Mbugua urged the party’s national elections board to increase members of the county board to 11 so that each constituency is represented. 

In North Rift, a section of those seeking Jubilee tickets for various seats are uneasy with the process used to pick members of the county elections boards.

They are afraid composition of the boards may tilt results in favour of some candidates. 

They said intense lobbying for positions in the boards will see cronies of some leaders picked ahead of next months nominations.

Uasin Gishu and Bomet counties are expected to election members to their elections boards today. As per directions the Jubilee’s national elections board has given, aspirants that have not paid for the nominations will not participate.

A section of aspirants said the national office should pick elections county board officials from other regions to ensure fairness.

Moiben parliamentary aspirant Phillip Chebunet claimed that most politicians are proposing their friends a move he says is likely to compromise the exercise.

“Most aspirants are concerned with the way the county elections boards are being composed. We want neutral teams to oversee nominations. This will ensure they are smooth and fair. We do not want friends of certain people to get these positions,” Chebunet said Monday.

Former athlete Wilfred Bungei, who is seeking to become Emgwen MP, said: “The national office has not clarified the criteria for electing county elections board officials and that is why there is confusion.”

Meanwhile, Jubilee Party aspirants in Embu County have agreed to have nine members to the county board.

The aspirants, among them Governor Martin Wambora, Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire, Manyatta MP John Muchiri and former minister Njeru Ndwiga later agreed on the names after a closed door meeting that lasted several hours.

County Jubilee chairman Elias Kathiga said the three constituencies used consensus to pick officials to the elections board.

From the nine officials that were picked, the national office will pick the chairman.  

In Kericho, it took the intervention of police to restore calm after the elections turned chaotic.

Acting Kericho OCPD Nathan Sanya and area OCS Abdirahaman Mohammed had to call in reinforcement after agitated aspirants each other with rungus. 

— Reports by Patrick Kibet, Silah Koskei, Joseph Muchiri and Nikko Tanui