George Kebaso @Morarak
Jubilee Party’s Ahmed Kolosh had last evening taken a sizeable lead in most of the polling stations in Wajir West constituency by election over his closest rival, Kanu’s Sheikh Mohamed.
At Wajir Girls’ Secondary School polling station,which has the highest number of registered voters in the constituency, Kolosh garnered more than 60 per cent of the votes cast representing 922 voters out of the 1, 453 registered voters.
Voting across the 75 polling stations in Wajir West Constituency had, however, delayed for two hours following a number of technical hitches. The exercise kicked off at 8am instead of 6am.
The Kenya Integrated Election Management System (Kiems) kits failed to work while some were very slow because of poor network connection. The kits were taking a long time to identify one person causing outrage among some voters.
Some elderly voters had to wait a little longer to cast their ballots after the kits failed to detect their fingerprints. However, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials rectified the hitch by using the Kiems Supervisor Validation Form to identify voters.
Returning Officer Maurice Raria said in case where the kits could not immediately identify a voter, they turned to the manual register.
“The manual register has so far helped us to file our result reports to the tallying centre at Griftu Pastoralist Training College fast enough,” he added.
Kolosh said he was notified by some of his supporters that elderly voters could not immediately vote because the KIEMS kits could not identify their details.
“We talked to IEBC officials and asked them to verify voters’ details on the manual register using their identification cards when such cases arise. I have also asked voters who had been told to wait to be patient,” Kolosh said at Wajir Girls’ secondary School polling station.
Kolosh dismissed rumours that in some polling stations voting was being delayed because voters from some perceived strongholds of his rivals had not arrived.
Earlier, at Kalkach 2 polling station within Wajir town, Mohammed claimed his agents had been barred from accessing some polling stations for more than half-an-hour.