KABETE, Kenya May 4 – A presiding officer with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was on Monday fired on the spot for failing to use the Electronic Voter Identification kits in the Kabete by-election.
The IEBC’s Constituency Returning Officer Esther Wanjiku confirmed to Capital FM News the decision to dismiss the officer as news emerged that two people had also been arrested for alleged voter bribery.
The two were being were being held at the Kikuyu Police Station.
The developments came as four of the candidates in the mini-poll complained that some polling centres had reported cases of malpractices.
The four include Newton Njenga (National Vision Party) and Kiriro wa Ngugi (DP) who complained that “the exercise has insulted the Constitution’s requirement on integrity of leaders.”
“I had high hopes for the IEBC but not anymore. They extend themselves as if they are part of the ruling establishment. This has been illustrated in every step we have interacted with the IEBC,” Ngugi lamented.
He added: “In one instance, an affidavit from the Returning Officer Kabete had the same clauses as that of a party official. It was wrong to say that they were capable, I am sure now that the IEBC is not capable.”
Njenga who has tried to be the area MP since 1997 but area residents have never chosen him said after voting: “It is evident that only two candidates are registered voters in Kabete the rest are visitors.”
IEBC had cleared Ngugi, Njenga, Ferdinand Waititu (JAP), Isaiah Ndirangu (PDU), John Wamagata (Safina), Kavore Kariuki (Narc-Kenya), Wilson Karanja (Orange Democratic Movement), George Mungai (Independent) and Paul Kariuki (PPK) to participate in the by-election.
Kabete Constituency is in Kiambu County and is composed of five County Assembly Wards with a total of 62,470 registered voters.
The by-election was occasioned by the death of the George Muchai early this year.