IEBC assures 11 in Senate race of fairness in polls

Bungoma County IEBC returning officer Grace Rono hands over a certificate to Wafula Wamunyinyi after he was cleared to contest. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The electoral commission has assured the 11 candidates in the forthcoming Bungoma senate by-election of a free and fair election.

The seat fell vacant after former Senator Moses Wetang'ula became Speaker of the National Assembly.

County IEBC boss Grace Rono, on Monday, met the contestants together with their agents and promised them a fair and transparent process.

The meeting came just three days before the election. There have been allegations that IEBC is favouring one political formation. There have also been claims of pre-marked ballot papers.

"The ballot paper got in today and the candidates are free to inspect them to ensure their names and symbols of the parties they are vying on are in order," said Rono.

"We are set for the day and urge the people of Bungoma to turn out in large numbers and elect a candidate of their choice. On our part, we promise to deliver a credible election."

Rono said there has been no formal complaint regarding the allegations against IEBC.

Some independent candidates claimed the IEBC is mistreating them together with their agents, claims Rono termed untrue.

Wafula Wamunyinyi of Azimio la Umoja, Wafula Wakoli (Ford-Kenya) and Mwambu Mabonga (UDA) have been the most visible contestants during the campaign period.

Others are Elias Barasa (People's Empowerment Party), Fredrick Busolo (Vibrant Democracy Party), Aaron Wafula (Republican Liberty Party), Geofrey Barasa (National Ordinary People Empowerment Union) and Robert Sifuna (Roots Party of Kenya).

Also in the race are independent candidates Enock Opara, Julius Masinde and Radon Munoko.

Bungoma has 1,373 polling stations. Votes will be counted at the county tallying centre at Mabanga.

And as the meeting went on, Wetang'ula, accompanied by MPs John Makali (Kanduyi) and Majimbo Kalasinga (Kabuchai) were in Bungoma North campaigning for Wakoli.

"The senate seat is a reserve for Ford-Kenya. I was the only MP in the Senate for the party. It's upon you to ensure I get a senator from my party to represent me," he said.

By AP 8 hours ago
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