Uasin Gishu residents have been left in suspense as the Jubilee Party held back on announcing the official results for the county’s gubernatorial elections during the just concluded party primaries in the area.
In a ‘premature win’ for the gubernatorial position during Uasin Gishu county’s party primaries, Governor Jackson Mandago led his supporters in a celebratory jig and procession in the streets, as he declared himself the winner, after supposedly winning the primaries against his strongest rival Zedekiah Buzeki Kiprop Bundotich.
Many residents followed the results of their county closely with alot of anxiety rising especially since the mainstream media was not airing the results live for the particular county.
Buzeki, who supposedly garnered over 89,000 votes against Mandago’s “126,000”, filed a complaint with the Jubilee party at their Pangani headquarters in Nairobi and the case was to be heard today.
The Tribunal has since apologized to Buzeki for what transpired during the nominations process on Tuesday and subsequent tallying, where the aspirant said had alot of rigigng going on.
What was strange though is that Mandago sent a team of six lawyers to represent him before the Tribunal and chose not to face Buzeki to hear his claims and substantiate the facts.
Buzeki also said that the problem begun when polling stations such as MV Patel, where majority of his supporters waited in line to vote, were opened as late as 1pm, then closed four hours later, locking out thousands of voters who had queued from as early as 2am.
Cases of rigging reported in the county included delay of distribution of voting materials for Buzeki-perceived strongholds such as Ainabkoi, Mois bridge and Eldoret town, swapping of election results in areas such as Chakaya, Bindura, Turbo, Soy, and Kesses, among others.
Other malpractices reported include swapping of election results double voting in areas such as Kipsangui, Turbo, Kesses, Moiben, among others, while in Eldoret, Mois bridge and other areas, it was reported that the election process was slowed down.
In addition to these, other malpractices included addition of votes in areas where Mandago’s were few, deduction and destruction of Buzeki’s votes as well as inclusion of voters whose names were not in the register being turned away despite official orders from the party secretariat head Raphael Tuju to let anyone with an ID and voters card participate.
Residents complained that the county employees were forced or used to rig election, while Jubilee county officials including ROs, POs and clerks where compromised or inclined to favor the incumbent. Some of Buzeki’s agents were also bought out after an Ainabkoi Returning officer, Kiplimo Siggo, leaked the agents’ list to the rival team. Security officials are also said to have been biased against Buzeki team.
Buzeki’s supporters have been calling for a re-tallying of the votes, fresh nominations, or a repeat voting for regions which suffered the delays on Tuesday April 25th 2017.
However, speculation is rife as online chatter indicates that Buzeki has decided to vie as an independent candidate, but he has not officially made the announcement.
More to follow.