Top Stories / National
Saturday, 15 Apr 2017 15:32 EATamboleokata@gmail.com
A meeting to resolve pertinent issues raised by Jubilee Party aspirants in Nakuru County who claim there are plans to rig party primaries slated for next Friday almost ended in disarray after attendants heckled Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria and his Nakuru Town West counterpart Samuel Arama in front of party secretary general Raphael Tuju.
Drama started when Mr Gikaria demanded to ask a question but attendants would not hear anything from him, accusing him of being behind cartel that had sneaked in four names into the County Elections Board with a view to rigging the nominations. Anti-riot police officers who were deployed in the county offices as early as 6.00am stood guard as the drama unfolded.
Mr Tuju was forced to intervene and calm the situation as the furious crowd advanced towards Mr Gikaria who was seated together with Mr Arama and County Speaker Susan Kihika. Aspirants demanded that Mr Tuju commits himself that the party primaries will be free, fair and credible.
The aspirants demanded a number of guarantees for a credible poll including police escort for ballot papers, serializing of the ballot papers, audit of casted votes and free and fair recruitment of polling clerks, returning officers and presiding officers.
Reacting to the issues raised, Mr Tuju assured the aspirants that all ballot papers will be serialized and will bear batch numbers and will also be escorted by police to all destinations.
He said that in order to ensure the exercise proceeds on well, Sh13.5 million had been spent to hire ballot boxes from IEBC, adding that polling stations will be opened as early as 6.00am. Mr Tuju also said ballot papers will contain photographs of all aspirants and five security features which will be made known on Friday.
The secretary general cautioned aspirants against engaging in any acts of violence, saying anyone implicated will face automatic disqualification, revealing that Jubilee Party had liaised with IEBC to ensure that those who are disqualified from running on the party's ticket will not have the chance to run as independent candidates.
He said that more than 200 accredited observers will be deployed to monitor Jubilee Party primaries across the country.
The writer is contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Nakuru County