Friday August 11, 2017
Police restrain demonstrators who were protesting against the discovery of an unsealed ballot box with ballot papers outside Manyatta constituency tallying centre at Kangaru School in Embu County on August 10, 2017. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Protests erupted in various parts of the country as dissatisfied aspirants disputed the results announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission officials.
In Embu, Tharaka Nithi, Nairobi and Mandera counties, tallying was disrupted at various constituency tallying centres after some aspirants and their supporters protested against the slow pace of releasing results.
In Tharaka Nithi, supporters of some candidates clashed at Chuka Igambang’ombe constituency tallying centre at Chuka Boys’ High over alleged malpractices.
Police broke up physical fights between supporters of rival candidates after Returning Officer W. Wainaina read out results for Nthambo Primary School, which were different from the ones contained on the forms signed by party agents.
The officers threw the youth out of the tallying centre and shielded Ms Wainaina from the group, which was baying for her blood.
Magumoni Ward aspirant James Mutembei of Jubilee Party accused the returning officer of conspiring with his opponent to deny him victory.“We are going to find out who was in charge of the materials. We didn’t give our papers to anybody. We want to know why the presiding officer did not return them,” she said. The box was taken to Embu police station.
He claimed that Ms Wainaina had manipulated the results in favour of his main competitor, Mr Justin Kithinji, because they were friends.
“My agents have a list of all the votes I got in all polling stations and those of my competitor, and I cannot allow any changes,” said Mr Mutembei.
At Kangaru High School – the Manyatta constituency tallying centre – tension was high after a ballot box was found outside the hall with stuffed ballot papers.
The unmarked materials belonged to Kambo market polling centre in Mbeti North Ward. Manyatta Returning Officer Faith Mugo said investigations had already been launched to ascertain the motive of leaving the materials unmanned.
She opened the box in the presence of various political party agents and candidates’ chief agents and Embu West DCIO George Etyang.
The discovery of the materials caused an uproar inside the hall, paralysing the tallying exercise.
Ms Mugo ordered people who were not accredited by IEBC to vacate the compound. Only chief agents were allowed inside the hall.
The group engaged in shouting matches but police kept them at bay.
They demanded speedy tallying and announcement of results.
In Nairobi’s Embakasi East constituency main tallying centre, there was drama after the certificate for the MP- elect Babu Owino went missing.
Mr Owino’s angry supporters threatened to unleash chaos, alleging a plot to deny the ODM politician the certificate.
“We are not going to accept anything less than a certificate. We don’t want to know where you are going to get it. I know there are plans to deny me my victory but I tell you I have been elected by the people of Embakasi East, and you cannot select leaders for them,” an agitated Mr Owino told Returning Officer Nicholas Burtuk.
The returning officer claimed that the certificate had been locked in an office and that the officer who had the key had been arrested over election-related malpractices.
After making a phone call to the county elections manager Mele Eroo, the returning officer changed tune and claimed that the officer had disappeared and could not be reached on the phone.
The document was later traced and handed over to Mr Owino, who had garnered 43,862 votes. His closest challenger, Jubilee’s Francis Wambugu, had 39,805 votes.
In Mandera, politicians allied to the Economic Freedom Party (EFP) rejected results from Mandera North constituency, terming them flawed.
Senator Billow Kerrow accused the IEBC of favouring the Jubilee Party.
“As EFP, we are not accepting the results from Mandera North because the process was flawed and our agents were kicked out of polling centres,” he said. He claimed that the returning officer at the constituency had declared the loser as the winner.
“Our agents were thrown out immediately tallying started and we demand that the process of announcing results be stopped,” he said.