Delay, few kits and arrests mark Migori ODM nominations

Woman places her finger on a biometric recognition gadget at Kadika Primary School on April 18, 2022 during the ODM election in Migori County [Caleb Kingwara, Standard]

Some 12 people were arrested yesterday morning for planning to attack voters as ODM held its primaries in Migori County.

Suna West Sub-county Police Commander Elizabeth Wakuloba said the suspects, aged between 24 and 32, were nabbed at 5am after they were spotted in two Probox cars with hidden number plates.

Upon searching the cars, police found five machetes and two clubs and a booklet containing details of meetings with members associated with a politician vying for the Suna West parliamentary seat.

A spot check by The Standard showed that voting started late in most polling stations.

The party supporters patiently lined up as early as 6am, with voting starting at 9am in most centres.

The voters, who braved the early morning cold and the day’s scorching sun, complained of lack of enough voting kits.

“The machines are less and we are many. We have been here since morning and have not eaten anything. We wonder when we will go back home,” said Jackton Ouma at Bondo Nyironge Secondary School.

Eunice Amollo, a voter, said the Oruba Mixed Secondary School centre only had two kits.

“We have been lining up here for long and we are yet to vote,” Ms Amollo said.

“We have a peaceful voting process and we laud the security personnel for ensuring peace,” said Suna West MP Peter Masara after casting his vote at Oruba Mixed Secondary School.

Masara and former Suna West MP Joseph Ndiege are battling for the ODM ticket to vie for the seat in the August polls.

The supporters of the two aspirants engaged in chaotic scenes from Friday to Sunday, leaving a number of people injured and property destroyed.

Wasweta 2 MCA Erickson Omondi said despite the delays, voting was peaceful.

Mr Ndiege voted at Bondo Nyironge Primary School, where he complained that security officers were intimidating his supporters. He however said he was confident of winning.

ODM issued direct tickets to Senator Ochillo Ayacko to vie for Migori governor, youthful politician Eddy Oketch for the Senate seat, while MPs Junet Mohamed (Suna East), Paul Abuor (Rongo), Walter Owino (Awendo), Mark Nyamita (Uriri) and Tom Odege (Nyatike) received the Orange party’s nod to defend their seats.

ODM resorted to universal suffrage in Suna West after an opinion poll showed Masara and Ndiege were only separated by a seven per cent gap.

In the woman rep race, Josephine Sirega, a former Radio Ramogi FM presenter, bolted out just hours ahead of the primaries, accusing the party of holding predetermined nominations. She will vie as an independent in the August elections.

Nominated MP Dennitah Ghati, businesswomen Fatuma Mohammed, Zilpa Audline and Millicent Kajimba squared it out for the woman rep ticket.