Jubilee primaries results in Lamu delayed following boycotts

An police officer guards party primaries ballot boxes PHOTO FILE

Lamu,KENYA:Results of the Jubilee primaries in Lamu county  will be delayed for an unknown period of time after residents of Mkunumbi ward in Lamu West boycotted the exercise which took place on Wednesday.

The residents said the delay in delivery of electoral material to Mkunumbi was a bad indicator that the office was not adequately prepared to conduct free and fair primaries.

Ballot boxes,papers and other election material were delivered to the area at around 3pm but the frustrated residents who had been waiting to vote since 6am decided to snub the exercise and went back to their homes.

They demanded that the exercise be held early the following day since they were tired and were no longer confident that there would be enough time for the exercise to take place on Wednesday.

The boycott has in turn resulted in a delay in the release of results for the primaries since the final tally can’t be announced without the votes from the Mkunumbi people.

Lamu county Jubilee chair person Abdulrehman Hilal said the exercise had to rescheduled after locals turned chaotic due to the late delivery of voting material.

He however said there were high suspicions that some aspirants plotted to sabotage the Mkunumbi exercise by hiring goons to disrupt the elections

Hilal however said the exercise which was rescheduled for 27th Thursday had already commenced in all the eight centers.

He said the current tally cannot be announced until the Mkunumbi exercise is over and votes added to the final tally.

In the primaries the incumbent senator Abu Chiaba is facing it out with Anwar Loitiptip and nominated MCA Monica Njambi.

Leading in the senatorial race is new entrant Anwar Loitiptip who seems to have quashed Chiaba’s second shot at the senate.

In the MP tally seen so far,former ODM majority leader Abdul Kassim seems to have taken an early lead.

The MP seat is being sought by Abdul Kassim and Anastacia Mwangi.

Numerous MCA slots are also up for grabs.

Similarly,residents of Basuba ward in Lamu did not participate in the Jubilee primaries after the election board was advised not to owing to security concerns in the area.

Basuba ward is currently under intense military surveillance in the ongoing Linda Boni operation which is meant to flush out Alshabaab militants said to be hiding within the vast Boni forest.

“We had everything in place for the elections in Basuba but at the last minute the security officers told us we couldn’t conduct the exercise there due to security concerns.we have no option since we can’t force things but we know those are important votes we have lost,”said Hilal.

However aspirants including the incumbent senator Abu Chiaba and MP aspirant Anastacia Mwangi have threatened to reject results of the exercise terming it a sham.

“There has been harassment and intimidation of my agents all over.Initially the MP ballot boxes were missing until later on,”said Mwangi.