Delays, confusion and anger mar Jubilee Primaries

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President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto during the Jubilee Party launch. PHOTO: PSCU

The wait seemed to take forever but it’s D-Day for the Uhuru Kenyatta-led Jubilee party whose nominations kicked off today, Friday, April 21, albeit amid delays in most parts of the country.

The outfit has planned nominations in 22 counties today and will conclude the exercise on Wednesday, April 26.

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Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago is facing stiff challenge from Kiprop Bundotich aka Buzeki. PHOTO: TWITTER

Diehard supporters who started streaming polling centres from as early as 3am, complained of the delays.

In Nakuru county, residents who showed up as early as 6am couldn’t hold back their disappointment and shock, after they found that there were no polling materials.

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Long queues could be seen stretching at the Railway, Nakuru High school and Afraha Stadium polling stations as early as 6am.

“I was here from 2am and up to now I have not voted because there are no ballot papers,” a voter said as quoted by the Star.

But county returning officer Jepta Rono dismissed the claims, saying all ballot papers had been distributed to all the polling stations and in a timely manner.

In the neighbouring Uasin Gishu county and Murang’a, the same complaints were reported amid allegations there was a plot to rig the polls.

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Meanwhile, some aspirants have asked JP officials to postpone the primaries citing massive irregularities.

At MV Patel polling station in Eldoret, voters complained that the delay was a tactic to disrupt the polls.

Governor Jackson Mandago and Kapseret Member of Parliament Oscar Sudi added to their voices to the demands, saying JP should cancel the primaries.

“Over 95 per cent of aspirants are concerned that the nominations will not be fair,” Mandago said.

Adding: “The ballot papers so far distributed are far less that the number of registered voters.”

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The area’s main polling stations including UG primary in Eldoret town were yet to open their doors at the time the two leaders spoke to journalists.

Meanwhile, Joseph Mathai, the Jubilee Coordinator for Uasin Gishu and Nandi counties, said they will meet with all aspirants before a decision is reached.

Mandago however asked his supporters to maintain the peace but at the same time called on Jubilee officials to ensure the polls are are free and fair.