Confusion after rivals clash halts Narok vote count tally

Monday, August 15th, 2022 00:36 | By
The enraged Narok gubernatorial candidate on UDA ticket Patrick ole Ntutu addresses the press and his supporters at TM Grounds yesterday, PD/GEORGE SAYAGIE
Narok Governor-Elect Patrick ole Ntutu at a past presser PHOTO/George Sayagie

Planned announcement of results in the Narok governor’s race ended in disarray on Saturday evening after police lobbed teargas canisters inside the county tallying centre at the Maasai Mara University.

The mayhem came after the chief agent for one of the candidate threw a bottle that hit the county Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) manager Dr Sidney Namulungu on the face injuring him.

Chaos erupted when rival supporters of Moitale ole Kenta (Azimio) and Patrick ole Ntutu’s (UDA)  clashed.

There was a stampede, shouting, exchange of blows and screams as supporters, agents and IEBC officials scrambled out of the hall as police and bodyguards of the two candidates and the Returning Officer (RO) amid bellowing teargas smoke that engulfed the room.

In the commotion, one person who is said to be a licensed firearm holder was arrested for allegedly wielding a pistol and wanted to shoot before the police pounced on him. He is being held at the Narok Police Station.

Before the commotion, Namulungu ordered the media out of the hall saying he wanted to hold a private meeting with the two warring sides in the absence of the Fourth Estate.

Alleged malpractice

Ole Kenta have petitioned IEBC officials not to announce the winner, alleging that the exercise was marred with rigging and election malpractices and called for a vote recount.

“Six people have been arrested with rigging claims and they have all accepted that they were bribed to manipulate the elections,” Kenta said.

In one incident of irregularities, Ntutu (UDA) had garnered six votes and Kenta (ODM) 474, but there were claims the numbers were switched in favor of Ntutu.

Kenta’s agent Lankisa Ole Kenta said other centers that they claim votes were swapped were Ole Nakanae Primary School in Narok south, Naituyupaki Primary school in Narok North, Oloirowua in Narok West and all polling centers in Kilgoris constituency.

This is the second time the results announcement has been postponed the first being two days ago in Kilgoris after ole Kenta, his running mate William Oltetia and Narok Senator elect Ledama ole Kina stormed the tallying center at Kilgoris boys and questioned the integrity of the counting, claiming that the process lacked transparency.

The results from five constituencies have already been submitted to the county tallying centre at Maasai Mara University and those remaining is Kilgoris which was postponed due to the chaos.In the results from those constituencies, UDA governor candidate Patrick Ntutu  was leading with 135,650 votes, followed by Kenta with 113,500.

Tension in county

Due to the delay in submitting the Kilgoris results, tension has been brewing in the county that has led to two chaotic demonstrations in the last three days. Before the tallying center incident police officers had to lob teargas at rowdy youths who went to the streets demanding fairness in the election process. The protests elicited running battles in the town that forced business to close down.

However, Ntutu who was accompanied by Emurua Dikirr MP-elect Johana Ngeno and his Narok South counterpart Kitilai Ntutu said he is ready to receive the winner’s certificate,

Outside the tallying centre he addressed his supporters at the TM grounds at around 8pm telling them he won the race with 163,000 votes against Kenta 143,000 with the Kilgoris votes.

 “We have won this election and tomorrow morning, we will get the certificate and start our victory celebration,” Ntutu said.

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