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Heavy security deployed in Kibra to contain reported tension and violence


Security has been beefed up around various parts of Kibra constituency during the ongoing by-election.

Officers from the GSU and the regular police are on standby manning the hotly contested seat in an exercise that has so far been marred by claims of voter bribery and intimidation.

VOTER BRIBERY

So far three people, among them two-middle aged men and a woman, have been arrested after they were found bribing voters. One of them was seriously injured by an angry mob that beat him up before surrendering him to the police.

At Lindi Mosque, one of the polling stations that politicians and voters claimed had experienced incidents of voter bribery was observed, is currently being manned by a heavy contingent of police officers who arrived at the area in four tracks.

Hundreds of residents have gathered around the polling station refusing to leave claiming they are protecting their votes.

ODM party leader Mr Raila Odinga complained of cases of voter intimidation which he said was being perpetuated by individuals across various polling stations.

His claims were denied by Deputy President, William Ruto, who in a tweet thanked Kibra residents for turning up to vote in large numbers and resisting violence.

“Peaceful voting is going on in many polling centres and security officers are on alert to deal with acts of lawlessness. Change is imminent! Mungu mbele,” the DP tweeted.

TENSION AND VIOLENCE

Mr Ruto’s remarks were echoed by former Ikolomani MP, Bonny Khalwale, who denied claims of having been attacked by youth in the constituency.

However, the police were forced to shoot in the air to contain a minor chaos that occurred at DC grounds shortly after Mr Khalwale and Mr McDonald Mariga, the Jubilee party’s candidate ended their media briefing.

“Voter bribery accusations are propaganda by ODM to cause tension and violence during the voting process. Women had been intimidated and warned against turning out to vote due to violence but the exercise is now going on smoothly,” said Mariga.

Meanwhile, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has warned voters against sharing images of marked ballot papers.

“Voters are warned that violating the secrecy of the ballot through sharing of photos of marked ballot papers is punishable by law,” IEBC said on Twitter.

It has also warned candidates, voters and agents against carrying campaign material to the polling station, campaigning while on the queues and instigating violence.

Report by Collins Omulo, Sarah Nanjala and Mary Wambui