Voting underway in Kericho, Malindi amid bribery claims

By Margaret Kalekye

By elections in Malindi and Kericho kicked off Monday morning amid claims of voter bribery.

CORD, Jubilee and Kanu are trading accusations of voter buying in the mini polls that have sparked a supremacy battle.

Voting got underway even as the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) communication’s director Phillip Etale was arrested in Malindi, while Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu was ejected from a polling station, claims the electoral body has not confirmed.

Etale was arrested early morning at 1am in his hotel room in Malindi Town over alleged electoral malpractices.

He was reportedly arrested with election materials with the police confiscating his mobile phone and laptop. CORD leader Raila Odinga has termed Etale’s arrest as blackmail.

“We are concerned at the campaign of black mail and arm-twisting and we have assigned senators James Orengo and Johnstone Muthama to take up the case of Mr Etale” said the CORD leader.

Raila says all CORD MPs and other elected leaders have been assigned to monitor the Malindi polls.

In Kericho, Energy CS Charles Keter cast his vote at Kapmaso in Belgul and warned against voter bribery by KANU.

Polling stations in the Malindi Parliamentary and Kericho Senatorial by elections opened at 6am and are expected to close at 5PM to pave way for counting and tallying of votes.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says voters who will be on the queue by closing time will be allowed to vote.

Moses Ledama Sunkuli is the Kericho County Returning officer while Stephen Kitsao Karani is overseeing the polls in Malindi.

Results are expected to be out by 9pm. Speaking to reporters in Kericho Sunday, IEBC Commissioners led by the Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba said they were ready for the polls.

The Commission’s Vice Chairperson Mahiri-Zaja led other commissioners in assuring candidates in the by-election that the process will be free and fair. Addressing international and local election observers Saturday IEBC chairman Issak Hassan said the electoral body is ready to conduct free, fair and credible polls.

The Kericho Senate contest has attracted six candidates including JAP’s Aaron Cheruiyot and KANU’s Paul Sang. In Malindi the contest will be between JAP’s Phillip Charo and ODM’s Willy Mtengo who have emerged as front-runners in a field of five candidates.

The candidates have already cast their ballots at different polling stations. Political party agents and election observers are monitoring voting across Kericho and Malindi.


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