August 23, 2019

Massive delays punctuate Jubilee’s start of primaries 

By Pharis Kinyua: Jamhuri News

Jubilee Party’s much awaited primaries have started amid a litany of complains from aspirants and the electorate.

This follows delay in starting of the exercise in more than four counties out of the 21 counties that are holding their primaries today.

Nyeri, Nakuru, Kirinyanga and Usain Gishu counties respectively are some of the counties where the exercise had not begun by the time of going to press.

The four counties had logistical challenges. In Kirinyaga County, ballot papers and boxes had not arrived by noon even after voters braved the morning chill to be at their polling stations by as early as 5am.

“I left my house minutes after 4:30am and came here but at this time (11:12am), there are no ballot papers or boxes in this polling station,” expressed a seemingly disillusioned Martin Kahiga, a voter in Kirinyaga County.

In Eldoret, besides not having the logistics in place at the required time, aspirant for Uasin Gishu Senatorial seat Prof Margaret Kamar cited that ballot papers were literally few.

She said that they were not enough.

In Molo, the situation was no different. Ballot papers and materials had not arrived at the various polling stations in the constituency by 11am.

However, in some other parts though, the nominations are ongoing despite starting off late.

Places like Kiambu and Murang’a counties have the process ongoing but the voters are complaining that it is too slow.

“I came here minutes after 6 am and I expected to find the process to have started already but it started so late and it is slow. People are leaving one by one because they still have to go on with their day’s business,” said Cecilia Wairimu, a voter from Ruiru, Kiambu County.

In Embu, Baringo and Laikipia counties, the exercise was thrown into complete disarray.

Several quarters have also asked for postponement of the primaries, a call that has been negated by JP Secretary-General Raphael Tuju.

In a press briefing on Friday morning, he said the exercise will go on as scheduled. He also warned aspirants against issuing comments about the delays that have hit many counties where the primaries are scheduled to be held.

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