Tension has grown in the warring Migingo Island in Nyatike subcounty, as Ugandan security officers disrupted voter registration at the station on Tuesday
The officers seized two IEBC workers who were registering Kenyans on the island crowded by many people. The officers also got hold of their working equipment.
Clerks George Odhiambo and Wilkister Alao were accused of trespassing for moving into a foreign land without appropriate permission.
The quarrel started when the two clerks set up a voter registration desk after they were cleared by the Kenyan police officers within the border. The police officers then sought their Ugandan counterparts of IEBC’s plans and were issued a permission.
Odhiambo said that Kenyan locals were happy and queued up to be registered but their joy was cut short when Ugandan security seized them.
Sergeant Denis Tolit, the head of Ugandan force in Migingo, came to tell them that the original order they obtained has been nullified and they were not needed in the island.
The management unit chairman of Migingo beach, John Obunge, hinted that at least 20 people where already registered by the IEBC clerks before the arrest.
John said the officers justified the arrest, explaining that the clerks didn’t follow the right protocol, as they were supposed to present their passports before gaining access into the island.
He said the clerks were only sent free after Kenyan officers stationed at Ugingo Island, almost 200 metres away from the island, intervened.
The Island manager also said the two clerks continued their registration after they were released late but this time, they stayed off the Island.
They rather continued with their registration on Wednesday at Ugingo Island Kenya administration police officers.
The Nyatike coordinator for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Samuel Ochieng, added that the two clerks were later told by the authority to stop registration after what occurred during the process.
Mr. Samuel said the Ugandan authority is requesting that Kenyan government obtain a permission letter from the country’s government asking to be allowed for the exercise.
Mr. Samuel while praising the action of the police posted at a nearby Island, said they did a good job in persuading their fellow security men from Uganda to release the workers – though the two police forces had a slightly heated argument
He revealed that they were negotiating with Ugandan authority and are hopeful things will turn out positively.
He further stated the target number of the IEBC in Muhuru ward where the Lake Victoria island is situated and tags it at 1,931 voters.