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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Kerio Valley voters defy attack threats, turn out en masse to elect their leaders

A woman lies on the floor during the chaotic tallying and declaration of results in Marakwet East on Wednesday. /STEPHEN RUTTO
A woman lies on the floor during the chaotic tallying and declaration of results in Marakwet East on Wednesday. /STEPHEN RUTTO

Voters in Kerio Valley defied banditry attack threats to turn out in large to vote during the Tuesday elections.

At least 92 per cent of voters in the troubled Valley turned up to vote in at least 45 polling stations in the area.

Voters in the Kerio Valley had raised concern that security agencies may be deployed to guard polling stations, giving bandits an opportunity to raid villages.

But Marakwet East deputy county commissioner Stephen Sangolo said adequate security arrangements were put in place to secure the entire Valley.

“We ensured that there was peace during and after the polls. We guarantee that security agencies are on high alert to prevent any attacks,” Sangolo said.

Elgeyo Marakwet county returning officer Moses Sunkuli said election in the area was peaceful.

Sunkuli however condemned a chaotic incident at Marakwet East constituency tallying centre in Chesoi that led to the killing of a 21-year-old woman during a confrontation between protesters who were demanding for declaration of MP results and the police.

“We had a peaceful election in our constituencies except Marakwet East where had an ugly incident,” Sunkuli said.

He said the tragic incident did not affect tallying and declaration of final results for the constituency.

Marakwet East constituency returning Martin Wekesa was forced to flee the Chesoi CDF Hall tallying centre after the Tuesday afternoon incident.

He declared results for member of national assembly and left the centre under a tight security.

Wekesa said in Iten on Thursday he declared results for MCA at an undisclosed primary school on Wednesday due to the security threats.

He issued certificate for the MP winner Kangogo Bowen in Iten, Keiyo North on Thursday despite protests by former MP Linah Kilimo who has since disputed the results.

Kilimo said the results were not a true reflection of Marakwet east voters, adding they were declared amid chaos at the tallying centre.

Kilimo hinted she will be heading to court fight for cancellation of the results.

Bowen garnered 14,850 votes to defeat Linah Kilimo who had 13,855 votes.

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