The low voter turnout has marred the Gubernatorial elections in Mombasa, Kakamega as residents exercise their rights to select a five-year governor for the counties respectively.
This comes after a failed election on the 9th of August after the ballot papers printed were found to have errors with the printed candidates and images that were not correctly assigned, where according to IEBC Chairman Chebukati they were postponed due to harassing and profiling of the officials.
Kakamega gubernatorial race attracted seven candidates who are seeking to succeed the former governor Wycliffe Oparanya namely; Cleophas Malala (ANC), Fernandez Barasa (ODM), Cyrus Jirongo (UDP), Suleiman Sumba (Kanu), Samuel Omukoko (Maendeleo Democratic Party), Michael Osundwa and Austine Opitso (Independent).
Mombasa gubernatorial race has stiff competition in the race between the United Democratic Alliance (UDA)candidate Hassan Omar and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM)candidate Abdulswammad Nassir. The two competitors are from rivaling coalitions of Kenya Kwanza and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya.
As the elections are ongoing, the leaders have urged the citizens to beat up the low psyche attitude and use the holiday issued as an advantage for the exercising of their rights as upheld by the law.
Hassan Omar a UDA candidate while voting at Kaderbhoy in Mombasa had alleged that the ODM party agents were bribing voters as he alleged a probable attack while the food was being delivered to his agents.
“There is widespread bribery by the ODM party and we have asked the police to manage it in the next hour or we will manage it ourselves. The voter turnout so far is quite low, it’s characteristic of by-elections which experience voter turnout of about 30 to 35 percent,” he said.
In Kakamega, the same allegations of a potential bribery claim were highlighted by ODM Candidate Fernandez Barasa who is in the race for governorship as he expressed concerns over the low voter turnout.
Barasa who cast his vote at Bulimbo Primary School in the Matungu constituency decried what he termed as rampant voter bribery which he alleges was being perpetrated by his opponents.
“I have inspected various polling centers in Matungu and there is a lot of voter bribery which in my opinion is an election offense. I want to urge IEBC and all the security agencies to make sure they take action so that people can vote freely without intimidation,” Barasa said.