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Low voter turnout in Nyaribari Chache by-election

By Kenan Miruka | December 30th 2013

By Kenan Miruka        

Kisii, Kenya: Low turnout characterised the start of voting in the Nyaribari Chache by-election on Monday amid claims of massive voter bribery.

Polling stations opened doors to voters at 6am in the morning and despite a few hitches with the Electronic Voter Identification Devices (EVID), the exercise got underway smoothly.

The electronic gadgets malfunctioned at one stream of the Gusii County Council polling station and at Nyamage polling station delaying the start of the exercise.

Ford People candidate Richard Tong’i cast his vote at 8am at Amariba Primary School polling station and exuded confidence of a win in the poll.

“I am impressed by the numbers that have turned up to vote at this station because 105 people have cast their ballot already. However, my opponents have attempted to bribe voters, which is unacceptable. I urge my supporters to turn out in large numbers and express their will,” said Tong’i.

ODM candidate Chris Bichage cast his ballot at 9am at Eremo Primary school and lamented over what he termed massive voter confusion using money by TNA agents.

There were also reports that a vehicle belonging to TNA agents was impounded behind Kisii Bottlers allegedly distributing money. It was towed to Kisii Police Station.

“Bribery is a big challenge to the democratisation process of this country. Some TNA agents are openly buying votes within the precincts of polling stations,” said Bichage.

At Taracha polling station, IEBC officials arrested two TNA agents at 8am and detained them in a vehicle awaiting the arrival of police officers. The agents were allegedly campaigning and enticing voters to support their candidates.

Kisii County ODM chairman Kerosi Ondieki condemned the incident and commended IEBC for the swift action.

Labour Party of Kenya (LPK) candidate James Kenani voted at Riondong’a High School lamented at the slow start of the voting but hoped the same could improve later in the day.

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