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Police on high alert as Jubilee Party decides

By Standard Team | Published Fri, April 21st 2017 at 00:00, Updated April 20th 2017 at 23:15 GMT +3
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago addresses supporters along Uganda Road in Eldoret yesterday ahead of Jubilee nominations today. The rally lasted for almost three hours. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Security has been beefed up as the Jubilee Party nominations begin in nearly half of the 47 counties.

Preparations for the primaries went a notch higher on the eve of the exercise with reports of deployment of dozens of officers.

Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Wanyama Musiambo said officers had been deployed to all the 12 counties where the primaries are slated for today.

“Adequate security officers have been deployed in all areas in the region where nominations will take place,” said Musiambo.

He asked aspirants to keep the peace and asked voters to leave polling stations after voting and await results announced by returning officers.

Counties where the exercise will take place today in the Rift Valley Region include Nakuru, Kericho, Bomet, Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Baringo, Laikipia, Narok and Kajiado and Laikipia.

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Samburu and Turkana counties will cast their vote on Tuesday.

The coordinator listed Nakuru, Bomet and Uasin Gishu as hot spots because of high competition for various political seats.

Musiambo said the ongoing operation in Baringo and Laikipia counties will not affect the process because adequate police officers have been deployed to ensure locals are safe.

In Bomet County alone, there are reports that at least 500 officers have been deployed to oversee the exercise.

JP Bomet branch Chairman Bernard Mutai said all 500 polling stations will have a police officer.

Mutai spoke at Tenwek High School when he received polling material for Bomet Central alongside the county returning officer Prof Wilson Langat.

Langat on his part said they have put in place all the necessary arrangements to ensure there are no ugly incidences during the exercise.

In Uasin Gishu County, police commander Samson ole Kine, said additional officers have been deployed to ensure that the primaries are conducted peacefully.

Jubilee Party officials led by the Regional Coordinator Joseph Maathai, Nandi and Uasin Gishu county Returning Officer Jama Genney said they are ready for the exercise with 536 officers set to oversee the nominations.

The party said it will stick with the stations that have been gazetted by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

“We are not merging any polling station. We shall also use our own party register to counter check on our members as a move to control any form of interference from those who want to engage in malpractice,” Mr Maathai said.

In Trans Nzoia, County Elections Board Chairman Richard Chesebe disclosed the tallying centres for Kiminini Constituency will be at Kiungani, that for Saboti at Kitale Technical Training Institute and that for Cherangany at Kipkeikei Boys’ school.

In Kwanza, the centre will be at Kwanza Boys School but in Endebbes the exact tallying centre was yet to be identified by time of going to press as the IEBC listed centre, Endebbes Catholic Church, was still undergoing renovations.

Across in Naivasha, a multi-security agency team was formed to monitor the nominations and upcoming elections.

Naivasha sub-county deputy county commissioner Isaac Masinde said formation of the new outfit will help deal with election related incidences.

He said officers from the regular and administration police will be joined by their colleagues from Prison, KWS and Forest rangers to boost security.

For aspirants in Murang’a County, there was a sigh of relief after Jubilee Party finalised accreditation of agents.

Three hundred aspirants flocked to the party office in Murang’a town to have their agents accredited ahead of today’s exercise.

Report by Mercy Kahenda, Gilbert Kimutai, Antony Gitonga, Silah Koskei, Wilberforce Netya, Munene Kamau Allan Mungai, Lydiah Nyawira, Boniface Gikandi, Dickson Mwiti and Joseph Muchiri