Violence in Lamu tallying centre over alleged foul play

Photos of police presence at the tallying centre/Natasha Nema

Lamu,KENYA:Violence erupted at the Lamu west constituency tallying centre at the Mokowe Arid zone primary school on Thursday after women rep Shakilla Abdalla and ODM’s Rishad Amana rejected results from the tallying exercise terming it a sham.

Tens of police officers had to be immediately deployed to the station to contain rowdy crowds of supporters who had turned violent and chaotic and were throwing chairs at the IEBC officials at the centre.

The two politicians accused the IEBC of trying to steal their votes in favor of their opponents and swore not to accept the results.

They said the entire voting and tallying process wasn’t free and fair and therefore said they wont accept defeat.

They branded IEBC democratic thieves who want to steal away the will of the people of Lamu.

Police had a rough time containing the charged crowds for over 30 minutes before the tallying exercise finally proceeded.

Lamu county elections manager Adan Mohamed ordered police to throw out all members of the public who had forced their way inside the hall before tallying proceeded under tight security.

He even threatened to stop the exercise of the chaos would continue.

There was also drama by a few candidates who began engaging one another in a war of words inside the tallying hall.

“The IEBC wants to steal our votes and hand them to our opponents on a silver platter.They are democratic thieves and we shall not allow them to steal the will of the people and thereforr we reject the results,”said Shakilla.

Currently Shakilla has lost the seat to JP’s Ruweida Mohamed Obo who is in the lead with 23,093 votes against Shakilla’s distant 13,374.

Amana wondered why the IEBC was forcing them to accept the results of an exercise marred with malpractices.

“Something fishy is going and that’s why we are staying put.The IEBC has no right to order any one to accept a result of a rigged exercise.Malpractices took place and we cant sat we lost,”said Amana.

Amana who was vying for the Lamu west MP seat on an ODM party ticket lost to MCC’s Stanley Muthama who garnered 11,462 against Amana’s 10,034 votes.

The incumbent Julius Ndegwa of Safina party made away with a distant 8,806 votes.

However Muthama who is leading in the Lamu west MP race said he was confidentss with the results as tallied by the IEBC.

The tallying exercise is still underway despite numerous interruptions due disagreements between candidates,agents and IEBC officials.