Kibra votes after hard-fought campaigns
Kibra residents today cast their ballots in a hotly contested by-election that has captured national attention for fueling rivalry between Deputy President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga.
The seat fell vacant following the death of MP Ken Okoth in July.
Ruto and Raila have in the past two weeks pitched tent in the largely slum constituency to rally support for their party candidates McDonald Mariga (Jubilee) and Imran Okoth (ODM), respectively.
The two politicians led their supporters in huge rallies in the constituency on Sunday.
For two decades, Raila served the area as MP when it comprised of Kibra and Lang’ata constituency, now represented by Nixon Korir.
Other candidates in the race include Eliud Owalo (ANC), Khamisi Butichi (Ford Kenya) Martin Andati (Modern Alliance Party), Felix Anditi (Independent), Ibrahim Kimorko (Roots Party) and Kassim Abdul (The New Democrats).
Others are Editar Ochieng’ (Ukweli Party), Titus Mutinda (Republican Liberty Party), Fridah Kerubo (Independent), Mathew Musyoka (Independent) Jared Nyakundi (National Liberal Party) and Elijah Nyamwamu of Narc Kenya.
Emmanuel Owiti (Green Congress), David Odanga (Independent), Isaac Ogongo (Justice and Freedom party) and Francisco Ojiambo (Party of Democratic Unity) are also in the race.
Other candidates are Shedrack Omondi (Independent), Shem Ocharo (Mungano), Abraham Okoth (Independent) Hamida Musa (United Green Movement) and Noah Migudo (Independent).
The election takes place a day after the High Court ordered the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to supply the complete register of voters in Kibra to ODM.
Justice James Makau ruled that IEBC violated ODM’s right in failing to give the updated register ahead of today’s by-election.
“An order is hereby issued compelling the respondent (IEBC) to supply voters in Kibra constituency and the public at large with the voters’ register containing all the information prescribed in Form A of the Schedule to the Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations 2012 in all polling stations and in the public online portal,” he ruled.
ODM, through lawyer Jackson Awele, had sued IEBC claiming the names of people previously registered to vote in the constituency were missing in the register.
But the commission challenged the decision, saying it would take seven days to effect the order.
On Wednesday, IEBC distributed ballot papers in all the 36 polling stations ahead of the opening of the polls at 6am today. The polling stations will close at 5pm.
Returning Officer Beatrice Muli said they were ready for the by-election.
“We are satisfied with the preparations. I can confirm that we are ready for the exercise,” she said yesterday at the tallying centre at Nairobi City County Inspectorate Training College.
In a special gazette notice yesterday, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said the commission had concluded the revision of Kibra constituency voters’ register and confirmed that we have 118,658 people listed on the roll.
The poll agency also announced the relocation of 26,788 voters registered in the 36 polling stations ahead of today’s by-election.
“We have spent the last one week sensitising voters on this movement,” Muli said.
The gazette notice lists Old Kibera Primary School, Ayany Primary School Playing Field and Golf Course Playing Grounds as the relocated polling centres.
Chebukati announced that Raila Education Centre will host 2,959 registered voters from Old Kibera Primary School, 1,980 registered voters from three polling stations in the Kilimanjaro Avenue off Mara Road, KUSCO Centre polling centre will now cast their vote at Upperhill School.
“About 4,387 registered voters in Kenyatta Market Parking Lot had been moved to Mbagathi Road Primary,” the Gazette notice shows.
Further, an estimated 3,549 voters from Golf Course Playing Grounds have been relocated to Shadrack Kimalel Primary while voters at Ayany Primary School Playing Field (7896 registered voters) and Ayany Primary School Playing Field (6017 registered voters) have been relocated to Olympic Primary School and Olympic Secondary School.
In the Notice, Sarang’ombe Ward has 30,754 registered voters followed by Woodley/Kenyatta Golf Course and Makina Wards which have 28,066 registered voters and 25,695 registered voters registered.