, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 4 – Voting in Westlands Constituency went on with no irregularities, except complaints that a local security firm had confiscated its workers’ Identity Cards thereby barring them from participating in the referendum.
One of the Security guards told Capital News that the firm, which also keeps its employees’ original school certificates, had failed to give back the identification documents on time.
He said that some of his colleagues had been forced to re-apply for second Identity Cards for their own personal use.
“They take people’s IDs and hold them; so we walk without IDs. When it comes to issues like money transfer services, you give back your uniform before getting back your ID. We’d been asking for our IDs but they were not listening,” he said.
Area Member of Parliament Fred Gumo, who said he would follow up the matter with the authorities, added that voting at the constituency had been orderly even though there were reports of confusion earlier.
“I’ll go there myself and make sure everybody gets his or her ID; but that’s very bad because an ID is a personal document. You cannot hold anybody’s ID. It’s illegal,” he said.
He also urged those who had not yet cast their vote to come out and participate in the democratic process.
“Let us put this thing (referendum) behind us. There will be no problem and we don’t expect any problems at all. Whichever side wins nobody will be victimised,” he said.
Elsewhere in Makadara constituency, polling stations were also characterised by long queues because of the large voter turn out. Voters were reported to have started trickling into the polling stations before dawn.
Returning Officer Florence Mogaka called on all constituents to remain patient and peacefully participate in the process. She reassured those whose names had irregularities, saying their names would be listed in the special register.
“We have some people who registered more than once and they might find that their names are not in the main registers. So we will be using the other registers to verify whether such people have been captured as double registrations. Only those who don’t have their identification documents will be turned away,” she explained.
The Presiding Officer at Martin Luther primary school Mercy Morono said that each voting stream in every polling station had four clerks, one Deputy Presiding Officer and one Presiding Officer to assist the voters.
“The first clerk checks your finger to make sure you have not voted before you proceed to the second one who checks your names in the register and calls it out loudly. The third clerk gives you the ballot paper, which you go with to the booth and mark. After that you place your vote in the ballot box, go back to the fourth clerk who shades your nail with ink and gives you back your ID and electors’ card,” she explained.
Kenyans in South B’s Plains View Primary School polling station also told Capital News that the process had so far been good. Those interviewed by Capital News said they did not mind the long queues as it was a great moment for the country.
“It appears like a fair and transparent process and the officials are very useful in helping people, and we are moving fast,” said one of those interviewed.
Another said: “I have been on the queue for a while now but at least it’s not stagnant. It is slowly moving and I can’t wait to cast my vote.”