Nairobi, KENYA: The Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati has officially announced an extension of the voting period in areas adversely affected by weather conditions and other logistical challenges.
Addressing Kenyans on the on-going electoral exercise countrywide in Nairobi, the IEBC chair stated that some of the counties where the polling exercise has been delayed due to adverse weather conditions include those in Turkana County, with Turkana North Sub county having four polling stations, Turkana Central 4 stations, Turkana West (2 polling stations) and Loima sub-county with 8 polling stations.
He however assured Kenyans living in those counties that voting exercise will commence as soon as the polling materials get to the notified areas.
“Voting process was delayed in Turkana County due to adverse weather conditions, but we have put in place some measures to ensure that the process will start as planned.” Chebukati said.
The commission chair also pointed out that the exercise was also delayed in Wajir County due to logistical challenges, assured Kenyans that the process is scheduled to start immediately the devices reach the specified stations.
In Laikipia County, Chebukati said that exercise was delayed due to security matters with three polling stations being affected by the menace further assured Kenyans that security has been beefed up despite having the exercise having been delayed for some time.
“The exercise was also delayed in Laikipia County because of security issues, but security has been enhanced end voting is in progress.” The IEBC official said.
The chair admitted that ballot papers reserved for Ndia constituency in Kirinyaga County were wrongly delivered to Nakuru East constituency and vice versa; therefore delaying the whole electoral exercise in these areas.
He however but pointed out that the papers were immediately airlifted to the correct polling stations where voting went on despite the little delay.
“Ballot papers for Ndia constituency were delivered to nakuru east and vice versa but we airlifted them to their decstinations.” He said.
He further said that voting the voting exercise is being conducted to all prison inmates countrywide.
“Voting is going on to all prisoners throughout the country and this a historical moment for the country being the first one of its kind where prisoners are taking part in electing their preferred president.” He added.
Meanwhile, a spot check on various polling stations across various counties at the Coast revealed that various polling station still had a lot of people queuing on the line.
Residents in terror prone Basuba and Kiunga wards in Lamu east have been assured that the closing time will be extended to enable each one cast their vote.
The county elections manager Adan Mohamed said special consideration would be given to the people of Kiunga and Basuba since the exercise started late than the rest of polling stations in the county due to security technical challenges.
It took time for election materials and staff to be airlifted to the two wards and as such the exercise started later than expected.
“We shall extend closing time for the people of Basuba and Kiunga.We wont close any polling station until the last person casts their vote.Its only fair because there were delays that caused the exercise to start late and we know how every Kenyan has been waiting for this day,”said Adan.
The elections manager has however asked residents not to worry saying the stations shall remain open until the last person casts their vote.
Meanwhile, residents have also expressed worry that the curfew might lock them out of the exercise.
Many areas in Basuba and Kiunga are under a 90 day dusk to dawn curfew imposed by acting Interior CS Fred Matiang’i following sporadic terror attacks from the Alshabaab.
The curfew runs from 6.30 am to 6.30pm.
Linda Boni director Joseph Kanyiri has however asked the residents not to worry since they will exempted for today to enable them cast their vote considering the exercise took off late.
“The people of Basuba should come out and vote.We have put in place enough security measures and they shouldn’t worry about the curfew because we shall exempt them so that they can cast their vote.We don’t want people to blame us and say we locked them out yet the exercise started late,”said Kanyiri.
Similarly,polling stations in Lamu county were closed at exactly 5pm but all those who were on the queues were all allowed to cast their votes.
Additional reporting by Natasha Nema