Five peculiar things about Kenya’s repeat presidential election
The October 26 repeat presidential election has come and gone and with it a number of peculiar incidents unprecedented in Kenyan polls were reported. Here are a few that stood out:
1. Poor turnout – The October 26 voter turnout dropped significantly as compared to the August 8 polls. The voter apathy suggest that a majority of the registered voters ignored President Uhuru Kenyatta’s call to come out and vote. Seemingly, these Kenyans voted with their feet.
2. Protests and riots – Not only did a majority of the voters abstain from the exercise, but the process was largely marred by violent protests from Nasa supporters who engaged police officers in day-long battle in the opposition strongholds. In some areas, reports were rife of voter intimidation against participating in the vote.
3. Raila voters – For some explicable reasons, some voters still cast their votes for Raila Odinga, despite the Nasa leader withdrawing his candidature and asking his supporters to boycott the exercise.
In Ikolomani Constituency, Kakamega County, for example, Odinga received some 270 votes a far better tally than those of the other candidates at the centre, save for President Kenyatta.
4. Independent candidates – As was the cas on August 8, 2017, the participation of 6 presidential candidates came into question. For instance, a majority of the returning forms perused by Nairobi News indicate that all the candidates, apart from Uhuru Kenyatta had agents at the polling centres.
5. Hostility to journalists – There were a number of returning officers – particularly in Mandera and Tharaka – who, for unknown reasons, seemed eager to break the law and deny journalists access to some polling centers.