We are ready for Migingo, says IEBC official

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)will deploy five officials and police officers to spend the night on the disputed Migingo Island ahead of Tuesday voting to stem fears that Uganda police intended to disrupt the exercise on the island.

A deputy presiding officer and four clerks together with contingent of police officers are expected to leave the Muhuru Bay main land for the disputed island on Monday to offer 36 registered voters their democratic right to vote.

Nyatike IEBC Returning Officer Wesley Ruto said security has been ensured for the officers to sleep on the island, said not to be among 528 polling centers in Migori County affected by network failure.

We are ready and sampling ballot papers with observers, aspirants and agents in Nyatike. Migingo will be among polling centers to cast their votes on Tuesday. We are prepared for the exercise, Ruto said.

According the Migingo Island Beach Management Unit chairman John Obunge, the residents have been waiting for the exercise.

In last polls we voted in the mainland which makes this gesture to be positive in ending the ownership stalemate, Obunge said.

He said the low number of registered voters in the fish rich island was because of ownership disputes and nomadic nature of fishermen.

Residents registered at the mainland in Muhuru Bay and most started leaving for their station as we have closed the beach until Tuesday after 5pm, Obunge said.

Obunge said no fishermen will be allowed to go out on Monday night for fear of being tired and not turning for the ballot tomorrow.

Sori Beach Management Unit Chairman Bamrich Okoth said all beaches will remain closed especially for Monday night and Tuesday until past 5pm when all polling centers will have been closed.

The same way we patrolled the waters to ensure all members are registered as voters is the same way officials will ensure fish mongers and fishermen are out to vote, he said.

He said they are not going to allow fishermen to abscond the election because they must also be part of change in this country.

Source: Kenya News Agency