BY-ELECTION

Set by-election date or we protest, Msambweni locals

Before Covid-19 pandemic hit in March, IEBC had set the by-election date in June, then all polls cancelled.

In Summary

• The irate residents said the push for a by-election is still on, adding that it is their right to be represented in the National Assembly.

•The residents said they are angered that leaders roam the country doing politics, yet the government won't allow Msambweni to vote.

 

Msambweni residents led by Hassan Chiteme addressing the media on Thursday, September 10.
SET A DATE: Msambweni residents led by Hassan Chiteme addressing the media on Thursday, September 10.
Image: SHABAN OMAR

Msambweni residents have threatened to stage huge demonstrations if the polls agency doesn't set a parliamentary by-election date by October.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission had set a date in June. Then all by-elections were cancelled.

Six months ago, MP  Suleiman Dori died of cancer, leaving the seat vacant.

Candidates then campaigned on social media, thinking the virus would soon pass.

Angry residents said on Thursday their push for a by-election is still on and they have a right to be represented in the National Assembly.

Led by Mambo Abdallah, they faulted the IEBC for denying them a chance to exercise their democratic right.

“This is injustice, going over six months without an MP. Who is  going to represent us in Parliament?" he asked.

Residents said they have been patient but the IEBC has been silent.

Abdallah said they don't know who to ask for bursaries when schools reopen. Dori used to sponsor young girls and other children.

He used to say the best things he could offer Msambweni are good education and major development.

Chitembe Hassan said Covid-19 has been well-contained in Kwale county so there's no reason for the government to delay in setting a by-election date.

“Coronavirus cases are very few, we can go for a month without a case, so they should give us a valid reason for the delay," he said.

Hassan said the Health ministry should put safeguards in place so the by-election goes smoothly.

By Wednesday, the county had recorded 162 Covid-19 cases, including 89 non-citizens. Kwale residents numbered 33.

Residents said they were angry politicians roam around the country politicking, yet the government won't allow Msambweni residents to vote.

Candidates include CEC member for Finance Bakari Sebe, Omar Boga, Charles Bilal and Mariam Sharlete.

Another candidate, Salim Shikel, said residents won’t sit back and tolerate the delay.

(Edited by V. Graham)