Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party primaries in Narok county kicked off Saturday amid confusion with several potential voters being turned away by electoral officials after their names missed in the party membership list.
Those tuned away protested against the move saying they were bona fide members of ODM and wondered why their names were missing in the party’s voter register.
Stephen Ng’otik, a voter at Ilmashariani Primary school said he arrived at the station at 6:30 am confident that he was going to vote only to be turned away.
“I wanted to vote early and leave to tend to my cows but upon reaching the station my name was missing thus I could not vote,” he said.
Another voter, Everlyn Yonko, said she voted in the 2013 party primaries but was shocked to find that her name was not in the list this time round.
The party’s county elections committee chairman Rev. Joseph Karia said only those whose names appear in the party’s register will be allowed to vote.
“I understand the party register is still incomplete and some people stand to be locked out but as for now, we will only allow those in the register to vote,” said Karia.
At the same time, a little known Senatorial aspirant Sirere Maitai made a surprise last minute rush to challenge a popular contestant Ledama ole Kina.
Ole Kina who is a political scientist had earlier indicated that he had sailed through unopposed but got an unpleasant surprise as Maitai decided to challenge him.
The party primaries were being contested in 170 polling stations in the area covering senatorial, women representative, members of the county assembly and Kiligoris parliamentary seat.
The latter dismissed earlier reports that his competitor had been handed a direct ticket saying he was his legitimate challenger.
However, Ole Kina rubbished his new challenger terming him a ‘government project’ being fronted to curtail his bid by supporting a weaker candidate to finally meet with the Jubilee candidate for the seat, who is former Narok South MP Nkoidila Ole Lankas.
He exuded confidence that he will trounce his last minute competitor as he (Ole Kina) was the ‘chosen’ Maasai community senator saying his fight against corruption and championing for the community rights makes him the greatest worry for the ruling coalition.
“I am the strongest candidate of course. This new man is a ploy by Jubilee to curtail me for them to get a weaker candidate whom they can beat but I am telling them that even if they fielded a million candidates I will floor them,” said Ole Kina.
Those competing for women representative seat on the party’s ticket include Rebecca Tonkei, Eunice Marima and Pauline Kanyarkuo while Joseph Siparo, Elijah Sikona and Peter Morindat are vying for the Kiligoris parliamentary seat.
Nomination for MCAs in Olokurto, Nkareta, Oloropil, Ololung’a and Narok Town wards were also underway by the time of going to press.
Source: Kenya News Agency