IEBC blocks agents from Kiambaa poll

Thursday, July 15th, 2021 00:00 |
Kiambaa by-election Returning Officer Peter Muigai briefs observers, media and candidates’ agents before the opening of the ballot paper pallets in the presence of candidates and agents, yesterday. Photo/PD/CLEMENT KAMAU

The 96,000 registered voters in Kiambaa will today make a choice on their next MP with the agency warning it will not allow politicians at polling stations.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) also declared that the exercise will be conducted under strict Covid-19 protocols.

There has been a tendency by politicians from the competing parties to camp in polling centres as “super agents” in recent by-elections.

Kiambaa Returning Officer Peter Kimani assured both voters and candidates that the mini-poll will be transparent, efficient, impartial, free and fair.

Kimani indicated that all preparations are complete with voting materials having been delivered to all the 154 polling stations in the area’s five wards.

Stakeholders cooperation

Urging all the stakeholders to cooperate with the IEBC personnel and law enforcement officers, he warned that anybody who will breach the Elections Act will be dealt with according to the law.

“We want to send a very clear warning that anyone found trying to influence and compromise voters within the 400 radius of any polling center will have themselves to blame”, he warned.

“The so-called Super Agents will not be tolerated in any polling centers. Only chief agents of respective candidates will have access the polling stations,” warned the returning officer.

He also cautioned that even the media will be barred from filming or taking pictures of voters while inside the voting booths.

Six candidates are running for the seat, which fell vacant following the death of former area MP Paul Koinange.

The race has however narrowed down to a two-horse race between the Jubilee candidate Kariri Njama and the United Democratic Alliance (UDA ) candidate Njuguna Wanjiku.

Others in the race are Richard Njoroge (The New Democrats), David Mugo Munyinyi (Independent), Evans Gichia (People’s Party Kenya) and Isaac Karomo of Federal Party of Kenya

 On the Ministry of Health Covid-19 protocols, he said there will be Covid-19 in every centre who will ensure that voters are wearing face masks and that they wash their hands before  and after voting.

 “Already all the polling centers have been fumigated and we have supplied enough water and sanitisers”, said Muigai.

 UDA candidate Wanjiku was the only one at Karuri Secondary School to witness the opening of the pallets (the rest were represented by their agents) which contains forms 36B and 36C told the media he was in agreement with the IEBC’s directive that “Super Agents” should keep off all the polling stations.

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