Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has sacked and replaced three returning officers In Nairobi County over voting delays.
The returning officers according to chairperson Wafula Chebukati were presiding over polling stations in Embakasi East, Kasarani and Westlands. Voting has since commenced in the affected areas after IEBC commissioners were deployed to manage the elections.
“We have had no major hitches… apart from a few issues affecting polling stations. We have experienced delays in these areas and consequently changed the agents.”
Voting was also delayed for more than two hours at Kisumu County’s Rabour Primary School polling center after the electronic kits failed to work.
The electoral body’s chief said personnel has been sent to places where they are experiencing technical hitches.
“Our officers have been deployed to resolve technical issues in Wajir, Isiolo and Dadaab. Our team is on the ground…we have been informed that voting is going on smoothly,” he said.
Mr. Chebukati has also ordered the sacking of a clerk who stamped ballot papers issued to voters as rejected.
This is after a photo of a ballot paper stamped ‘IEBC rejected’ was circulated on social media, prompting the electoral agency to respond.
“Problem has been sorted out. Commission has instructed the presiding officer to replace the clerk involved immediately,” said the IEBC post on Twitter.
On the reported voting delays in Turkana North, Samburu and Baringo counties due to heavy rains, Mr. Chebukati said helicopters are being used to deploy voting materials to the area.
He noted that Kibwezi East was experiencing some power outage but said Kenya power will restore it.
Chekubati noted that returning officers are equipped as he asked Kenyans to exercise calm and patience as they work towards free, fair and credible elections.
“Most polling stations opened on time and the turnout is encouraging.”
“We thank Kenyans for making the work of agents easy. We are very encouraged by voter turnout.”
Chebukati said they will keep the promise of a credible election and urged those who have not cast their ballots to do so.
He said Kenyans should call the IEBC hotlines in case of any emergency. The toll-free numbers are 1527, 1537, 1538 and 1539.