Mpeketoni, Witu ballots transported under heavy millitary security

The ballot boxes being offloaded on arrival at the tallying centre in Mokowe. PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu, KENYA: Ballot boxes from Mpeketoni and Witu divisions in Lamu county had to be transported under heavy security from the KDF and regular police due to security concerns on the Lamu-Mpeketoni route.

The ballot boxes were expected to be delivered on Thursday evening to the Mokowe Arid Zone primary school constituency tallying center but that didn’t happen until Friday morning.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that the Alshabaab militants had planned to attack and hijack a convoy transporting the ballot boxes along the route.

As such, the election staff and the ballot boxes spent the night at an undisclosed assembly points in Witu and Mpeketoni after which they were loaded onto buses and transported in the morning.

The ballot boxes, however, arrived under heavy security at the tallying center on Friday morning after which tallying proceeded.

One of the presiding officer from Mpeketoni who refused to disclose his name, said they were told by the police that they could not embark on a road trip to deliver the ballot boxes on Thursday evening due to reports that Alshabaab had laid an ambush for them.

“They told us we couldn’t go just yet since they had information that the route was bad as Alshabaab were lying in wait for us on the route.We just slept at some school compound which was used an assembly point for all Mpeketoni election staff and material.Then we came with KDF in the morning,” he said.