IEBC wants former Sport CS Rashid Echesa arrested

Police officers outside Rashid Echesa's home. IEBC is seeking his arrest following an altercation between him and an electoral officer at Bulonga Primary School polling station in Matungu on March 4, 2021. [Harold Odhiambo, Standard]

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) now wants former Sport CS Rashid Echesa arrested and charged in court for assaulting one of its officials in Matungu.

Through its chairman Wafula Chebukati, the commission termed the incident as an attack of the constitution and a bad precedent.

“We condemn the violence witnessed in Matungu where one of our officials was slapped by a former CS and we want police to apprehend this suspect,” he said.

Former Sports CS Rashid Mohammed Echesa confronts an IEBC official at Bulonga Primary School polling station in Matungu on March 4, 2021. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

“Currently the exercise is smooth across the country apart from a few hitches that have been handled by our officials on the ground,” he said.

Addressing the press in Naivasha after visiting Hell’s Gate ward where there is a by-election, he expressed his concern over the low voter turn-out.

He was however optimistic that the numbers would rise in the course of the day as most of the voters were flower farm workers.

“Currently the voter turn-out in Hell’s Gate stands at four percent but we hope this will pick before closure of the polling stations,” he said.

On the violence witnessed in London ward in Nakuru, Chebukati said that IEBC and police officers were dealing with the situation.

The chairman at the same time took issue with ‘roaming agents’ who included Mps and Senators who were moving from one polling station to another.

“As per the law the so-called roaming-agents are not recognized anywhere and they should be kept away from polling stations,” he said.

On his part, the Hell’s Gate Returning Officer David Mbui said that they had called all the flower farmers to release their workers on time.

He admitted that voter-turnout was low compared to other elections but was optimistic that the numbers would rise by the day.

“We are happy that the by-elections in Naivasha have been very peaceful and our only worry is the roaming-agents who are causing tension in polling stations,” he said.

Of the 13 aspirants in the ward, Jubilee and UDA candidates have attracted the highest interest in the by-elections occasioned by the death of area MCA John Njuguna Wassusy last year.