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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Transport challenges cause of JP poll mess, officials say

Police officers sit on ballot boxes after Jubilee Party primaries delayed in Nakuru on Friday, April 21, 2017. /STEVE WAMBUGU
Police officers sit on ballot boxes after Jubilee Party primaries delayed in Nakuru on Friday, April 21, 2017. /STEVE WAMBUGU

Jubilee presiding officers did not know that they were supposed to source for vehicles to transport voting materials within their jurisdiction.

Caroline Wangari, deputy organising secretary, said they received information at 3 am that the officers were required to source for transportation.

"Presiding officers then reported that the vehicles they got were charging more money that the party had allocated," Wangari said on Friday.

The confusion was the cause of delays witnessed in the Jubilee nominations in most parts of the country.

Read: Fury as delays, disorganisation mar Jubilee Party primaries

The primaries were planned in 21 counties on Friday while the second phase will be conducted on Tuesday, April 25 in 22 other counties. Nairobi will hold its primaries on Monday, April 21.

Disappointed, hundreds of JP members, who had turned up early, were forced to go back to their homes after the voting materials were not delivered.

In Murang'a, angry voters wondered why materials were yet to be collected from Murang’a Teachers’ College, which is also the county tallying centre.

"The party had ample time to prepare for the polls. We read mischief in this exercise," a voter said.

By 6 am, hundreds of clerks who spent the night at Technology Primary school, Murang'a were told the party had transport challenges.

It is only Kigumo, Maragua and Kangema constituencies where voting had started by 8am, albeit with massive discrepancies being reported.

Clerks alleged that ballot papers arrived without stamps in 12 polling centres in Kangema. However, the papers were okay in 35 other centres.

Details also emerged that new voters’ names were missing from the register.

Those who transferred their polling stations during the mass voter listing were referred back to their old stations.

Some aspirants have also complained that the Jubilee Party is using the 2013 IEBC register instead of the updated one.

"This is locking out many people who registered after that period. They are not serious," an aspirant said.

Raphael Tuju, JP secretary-general, barred aspirants or returning officers from issuing statements to the media.

More on this: Tuju warns aspirants against commenting on Jubilee Party primaries amid delays

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