Delays, mix-up of registers mar ODM primaries in Kwale
Aspirants for various seats in Kwale have raised the alarm over a mix-up of names in the voters’ register during nominations in Matuga and Lungalunga constituencies.
Many ODM members in the Msambweni constituency also cried fouls over these anomalies at various voting stations.
Led by voter Shaban Luchesi, they said electronic voting gadgets (tablets) have the same names of party candidates and members despite the different wards in the Msambweni constituency. “We have identified a serious problem with electronic gadgets. There are four wards in Msambweni and we expected that each gadget for a certain ward would have the names of people from that specific ward. But we are shocked that someone from Ramisi ward will have his or her name on a voting gadget at Ukunda ward. It’s a mess,” Luchesi said.
He said some party members had voted even thrice. “I heard people discussing this mess and I went to test it. I have voted in three stations and my name has read all through without any indication in the gadget that I had already voted,” Luchesi said.
Other challenges experienced earlier were delays in opening most polling stations in the Msambweni constituency in Kwale county. Many party members expected the exercise to start at 6 am as indicated earlier but it was delayed until 8:30 am.
Shee Mahmoud Abdulrahman, a candidate for the Msambweni MP seat, said most of his supporters went to the stations early enough but the officials had not arrived for the exercise. “It was disappointing that even party officials did not arrive in time.”
He said the previous day the party officials had said they would start from 6 am to 5 pm. “We hope the officials will compensate for this time they have delayed. We want the exercise to be done freely and fairly for all the five parliamentary aspirants.”
Left without voting
Iddi Said, an ODM member from Mwamambi, expressed disappointment with the delays, saying most people left the booths without voting.
“It is Ramadhan and people wanted to vote early and return home,” Said explained.
The five candidates for MP are Sharlet Mariam Akinyi, Charles Bilali, Hassan Mwakulonda, Shee Mahmoud Abdulrahman and Bashir Kilalo.
In Kwale County, ODM secretary-general James Nyakiti urged voters to remain calm, saying the lost time would be compensated at all stations.
Separately, ODM announced it would not hold nominations in Bungoma county but would agree on a consensus.