, MAKUENI, Kenya, Jul 25 – As the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) races against time to ensure Mutula Kilonzo Junior’s name is on the ballot for Friday’s Makueni poll, County Returning Officer Salad Boru has assured voters that the papers will be at all the 914 voting streams on time.
Out of the six constituencies that make up Makueni County, Kibwezi East and West will be given the first priority.
“The two Kibwezis, Kilome and Mbooni will get the first batch of ballot papers given they are the most far flung,” Boru told Capital FM News.
The materials will be transported once Mutula Jr’s name, photo and party symbol have been stuck onto ballot papers that initially only held the details of four other candidates contesting the Makueni Senate seat by-election.
Mutula Jr’s details began being appended on the approximately 300,000 ballot papers on Thursday morning having only just arrived from the United Kingdom.
Boru said the exercise would be completed in a matter of hours. “We mobilised the commission’s staff from all over the country to carry out the exercise which began at about 8am this morning at the Bomas of Kenya and we expect to start sending them out at about 2 or 3pm.”
Boru explained that the commission decided to include Mutula Jr’s details in Nairobi as the political parties taking part in the by-election were in agreement that it was the preferable option.
“They did not want it done in Makueni where emotions are high,” Boru explained.
Boru who was in Kibwezi at the time of the interview was adamant that despite a rocky beginning and high expectations, the voting and tallying exercise will go smoothly.
This is a tall order especially as Makueni is one of the largest of the 47 counties and has one of the highest number of voters at over 298,000.
But Boru is confident that he has matters in hand. “There are two security agents attached to each of the polling streams and so there is absolutely no reason to worry,” he assured sceptics.
The scepticism may be founded on the courtroom battles that characterised the run up to the Makueni by-election.
Boru has been at the centre of the courtroom wars after first awarding Kethi Kilonzo a nomination certificate despite her unclear voter registration status and most recently, for clearing her brother Mutula Jr just six days to the poll.