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ODM Nominations in Parts of Kajiado Stopped Over Alleged Rigging Claims

Confusion mars ODM nominations in some parts of Kajiado today. Here at St. Monica Catholic Church polling everything stopped until one of the officials announced the exercise had been postponed.
Confusion mars ODM nominations in some parts of Kajiado today. Here at St. Monica Catholic Church polling everything stopped until one of the officials announced the exercise had been postponed.

The nomination exercise for ODM in several polling stations in Kajiado was stopped indefinitely over alleged rigging claims.

The party’s official, John Ketora, who is the ODM national youth coordinator, said the exercise in Kajiado North and Kitengela Ward in Kajiado East had been postponed indefinitely.

In Kajiado South, the exercise went on smoothly although it started late after ballot papers for parliamentary aspirants had delayed.

But one of the MP aspirants, Thomas Lekanaiyia, claimed the rains spoiled up the exercise. He claimed that polling stations in Lenkisim, Olgulului, Namelok, Selenkei, Kimana and Kuku did not open because there were no ballot boxes and papers.  

Ketora urged all the aspirants and their agents to wait for official communication from the party’s election body.

Earlier in the morning, police were called in to maintain peace at the St. Monicah Catholic Church Polling Station in Kitengela ODM MCAs cited “anomalies”.

Kitengela Ward ODM MCA aspirants refused to take part in the nominations citing irregularities in the ballot papers.

The aspirants claimed about 4,000 ballot papers allocated to the polling centre were missing.

“This polling centre was supposed to have 12,000 ballot papers but now there are only 8, 000,” said Peter Atara, one of the aspirants eyeing the Kitengela Ward seat.

Atara went on; “We are told that the papers have been taken to Imaroro Ward. Why take ballot papers marked with our names to another ward?”

The aspirants feared the ballot papers would be marked secretly in favour of one of those in the race.

By 11.30am restless voters were still gathered at the Church compound, with the aspirants urging them to remain calm.

The aspirants first raised alarm when ballot boxes and papers arrived late at the polling centre in a vehicle said to belong to a supporter of one of the aspirants.

“When we questioned this we were told that the vehicle that was transporting the voting materials had broken down and another one was in called to save the situation, what is the coincidence that the only vehicle available is allied to one of our opponents?” posed Philip Otendo another of the aspirants.

When the aspirants and officials got into the hall to try and sort out the issue it was discovered that some ballot boxes and papers were missing.

“All we are saying is that we cannot participate in a process that does appear to be fair,” said Otendo.

“We will only agree to hold the nominations after all the ballot papers that belong here are returned. The alternative is to have the nomination postponed until such a time when these issues will be resolved,” he quipped.

The other aggrieved aspirants included Moses Saningo and Lydia Ngaira.

They were joined by Kajiado East parliamentary aspirant, Bob Njagi.

They were all pointing an accusing finger at another aspirant, Paul Matuiya.

On his part Matuiya claimed that the other aspirants had sensed defeat hence the complaints.

“The ballot papers in question were taken to Imaroro Ward, which had insufficient ballot papers,” claimed Matuiya.

“Claims of rigging are unfounded,” he added.

Atara however disputed the explanation claiming that ODM headquarters should have supplied sufficient ballot papers for each polling centre.

At some point Daniel Osoi, the chairman of ODM in Kajiado County, arrived at the polling station and promised that fairness would be upheld in the nominations.

“I will not allow an exercise that is not free and fair, we would rather cancel the whole process altogether,” said Osoi.

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