ODM rejects black ballot boxes, alleges rigging plot ahead of Bonchari by-election

Monday, May 17th, 2021 19:14 |
ODM party officials at an IEBC cntre in Bonchari inspecting ballot boxes,

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party has opposed plan by the IEBC to use black ballot boxes in the Bonchari by-election slated for Tuesday, May 18.

Speaking to the press on Monday, ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna said they have communicated their opposition to the black boxes to the IEBC officials.

He says the electoral officials in the constituency have pledged to use transparent boxes during the voting exercise.

"There are a lot of rumours going around regarding the integrity of the process. Some of the ballot boxes transporting voting materials are non-transparent which the IEBC had stopped using...The returning officer has assured us the black boxes will not find their way into the polling stations," Sifunda said.

ODM treasurer Timothy Bosire who also spoke in the press conference raised rigging concerns.

He said they have received reports that a senior government official is planning to use his influence to rig during the voting exercise.

The two ODM officials said they have received information that marked ballot papers are at the residence of a senior Kisii politician and they are following up on the matter.

"ODM is keen and interested in having clean and transparent elections. There are rumours emerging that there is one senior citizen from this region, in the public service, who is keen to interfere and influence the process in his interest against the rules of the game," Bosire said.

"If he is interested in politics, he should come and participate in the game. The same character sent security officers to threaten the Kisii Governor who is coordinating this exercise for ODM," he added.

The ODM official added that all they are asking for is a free and fair election adding that they are confident of emerging victorious in an equal playground.

The remarks by the official come at a time when a heavy contingent of police officers were deployed in the area to man the by-election.

Director of Operations at police headquarters Rashid Yakub is said to be overseeing the exercise.

ODM candidate for the by-election is Paul Oimeke, former director-general at Energy Regulatory Commission.

The by-election is seen as a three horse-race between the ODM candidate, Jubilee's Zebedeo Opore and UDA's Teresa Bitutu who is the widow to the late former MP John Oyioka.

Other candidates include Kevin Mosomi of Party of Democracy and Unity (PDU), Victor Omanwa of Party of Economic Democracy (PED), Jonah Ondieki of The New Democrats (TND), Charles Mogaka of Progressive Party of Kenya (PPK), Paul Matagaro of Mwangaza Tu Party and Jeremiah Atancha of Agano Party, Eric Oigo of National Reconstruction Alliance (NRA), David Ogega of Kenya Social Congress (KSC) and Margaret Nyabuto of Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC), Mary Otara of Green Movement Party (GMP).

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