Low voter turnout and transport hitches jolt Kiambu nominations

An elderly voter is assisted by a presiding officer at Mirithu Primary School voting station in Kiambu [George Njunge, Standard]

UDA nominations in Kiambu County were marred by low voter turnout in nearly all stations.

Party supporters trooped to polling centers as early as 6.30 am. But by 1pm, voting had not started in some stations, with election officials citing logistical problems.

Some aspirants cried foul over voter bribery and propaganda peddled on social media, adding to the confusion and anxiety.

A spot check by The Standard showed that discouraged voters from taking part in the nominations of governor, MP, senator, women rep and MCAs candidates.

In Kiambu West that’s Kikuyu, Limuru, Kabete, Githunguri and Lari, stations opened as early as 6am but very few people trickled even by 8am.

By 10am, only a handful of people got in to vote. By mid morning, most clerks and deputy clerks were busking in the sun as they awaited for voters.

Former Kiambu Governor Fedinard Waititu said the confusion had been occasioned by the use of the 2017 IEBC register which has not captured names of new voters.

“Initially, we had agreed that we shall use the 2017 IEBC register but suddenly they are allowing the new voters to use their IDs and voters card,” Waititu said.

Waititu, who voted at Wangige Market around 1pm, said he had raised the issue with the returning officer who promised to sort out the mess.

The exercise was thrown into more confusion as majority of aspirants had not cast their vote as late as 2pm. At one time, Ruiru MP Simon Kingara was forced to deploy his campaign team in vehicles mounted with speakers to counter claims doing rounds on social media that he had withdrawn from the race. Lack of ballot papers was also evident in some polling stations. In Githunguri ward in Githunguri, there were no ballot papers for MCA aspirants.

And in Ruiru Town’s Biashara ward, the Women Rep aspirant’s ballot papers were missing.

Another governor aspirant Eric Muturi, alias Muturi Wanduthi, said the delays in some voting centers contributed to the low voter turnout.

In Kahawa Wendani and Kahawa Sukari wards in Ruiru constituency, the exercise was delayed until 1pm after disagreement arose on the register that would be used.

“I arrived at Wendani Primary at 6am but up to now (1pm) there is no clear sign that I will vote,” said Peter Otwabe Wendani resident.

The exercise was further thrown into a spin following reports that some aspirants had already been handed certificates.