Politician on the spot for allegedly trafficking voters from Kilifi
A bus ferrying at least one hundred youths has been intercepted at Tana River Bridge in Tana Delta Sub County, Tana River County for alleged voter trafficking.
The youths who are said to have been ferried from Kilifi County to register as voters in the Ijara constituency are being held at the Garsen police station.
Galole MP Said Hiribae who raised informed the police about the incident said that he was informed about the voter trafficking by elders from Galole constituency that borders Ijara.
Having gotten wind of the incident, the MP liaised with security officers in Garsen to mount a roadblock at Idsowe Town along the Minjila-Lamu road.
Having learned of the trap, the MP said that the bus which was travelling back to Malindi changed route and took the longer Ijara- Gamba road. It was, however, intercepted at the Tana River bridge roadblock.
Upon interrogation after the interception, the youths inside the bus confirmed that they had been ferried to register as voters after being paid Sh. 2000.
The MP said that it was against the law to transport voters to areas that they do not reside in as voters.
Following the incident, MP Hiribae accused his Ijara counter Sophia Abdi Noor of being behind the trafficking.
He noted that this was not the first time MP Sophia was trafficking voters. He claimed that there are more than three other Kilifi-bound buses have that been spotted crossing to and fro the Masalani Bridge with young men and women.
The MP reiterated that efforts to address the matter with the IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati have fallen on deaf ears, He said that this now put a lot of doubt in the ability of the electoral commission to deliver credible elections in the forthcoming general polls.
The victims of trafficking blamed the government for their choices, saying that the system had subjected them to desperation hence the choice to traffic their vote.
According to one of the victims, the youth have no choice when approached by politicians with a good bid to their vote.
Sudais Odanga said that due to unemployment and hardship of life, the youth had no option but to be paid to register in areas they do not reside.
“It is wrong but because of our destitute lives, we are forced to take the little we are given to do what the politicians want. If we had jobs we could not have been here and this is not the first bus but hundreds of youth have been ferried since the registration exercises started,” he said.