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Bishop Wanjiru arrested over polling station fracas

By Standard Team | Published Thu, April 27th 2017 at 00:00, Updated April 26th 2017 at 23:50 GMT +3
Aspiring Nairobi governor Margaret Wanjiru

Aspiring Nairobi governor Margaret Wanjiru was last evening arrested after she allegedly destroyed election material.

Bishop Wanjiru, a former Starehe MP, stormed City Park polling centre just as the officials were closing at around 5.30 pm.

She started shouting as she allegedly destroyed election material, claiming the exercise was tilted in favour of one of her competitors.

According to Nairobi County Commander Japheth Koome, the aspirant was arrested after the returning officer called the police to complain about the disruption.

"It is true she was arrested and locked up at Parklands Police Station. She will appear in court tomorrow," added Mr Koome.

Her supporters, who milled around the police station in a bid to secure her freedom, were chased away by the police.

Elsewhere, the Jubilee nominations went on without major incidents.

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However, some cases of violence were reported in parts of the city during the primaries, which were characterised by a high turn-out.

Chaos erupted in Embakasi North after voters demanded entry into one of polling stations.

Voters who had turned up in large numbers at Tom Mboya Primary School got violent after police barred them from accessing the polling centre. The crowd broke through the gate to the school and forced its way in.

"Some of us have been waiting here for hours and the police are not telling us anything! We will vote no matter what," said Fredrick Maina.

Rig nominations

Some voters, who had reported as early as 4am, accused party officials of trying rig the nominations.

There was also a slight confrontation at Dandora Secondary School. Voting in the other centres was however peaceful.

Governorship aspirant Mike Sonko alleged rigging after he found his name missing in the Jubilee Party register.

Sonko, who was earlier blocked from voting at Bidii Primary School polling station by a clerk because his name was not in the register, warned that should he be rigged out, he will still face Governor Evans Kidero in August.

"I presented my ID to a clerk here at Bidii but he refused me to vote. My name was missing but I have been allowed to vote after the Returning Officer intervened. I do not not know why they are selecting here. It is happening in my strongholds. It is malice. I have got some video clips with the evidence," said Sonko.

Sonko took a swipe at the Jubilee Secretariat's head Raphael Tuju for what he termed a shambolic exercise.

And he warned Jubilee: "In a free and fair process I will concede the way Kabogo conceded, but is this a free and fair process? If they rig me out, this is not the end of the road. The law is very clear. I will be on the ballot come August."

"I have been to more than 100 polling stations and there is no uniformity in the manner in which the elections are being conducted. In some polling stations there are no names of voters yet they have voted in those stations before," said Sonko.

But his opponent Peter Kenneth dismissed the claims, saying many of his supporters were turned away from a number of stations, including Bahati Primary School in Makadara Constituency where he voted.

He temporarily interrupted voting at Bahati as he sought assurance from the election officers that those whose names were missing would be allowed to vote.

"Here at Bahati four grandmothers cannot vote because their names are not in the register. These people have voted here since independence and should be allowed to vote. The same is happening in a number of stations which I visited earlier," Kenneth said.

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