NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 3 – Voting in Kabete constituency by-elections kicked off on Monday morning exactly at 6am as enthusiastic voters braved the chilly weather to pick their next Member of Parliament.
Some polling centers had voters on the queues by 5.30am.
There was, however, low turnout in a number of polling stations, with many blaming it on the choice of day, bearing in mind that schools were reopening on the same day.
“I am headed to town (Nairobi) where I work that’s why I had to come early…I want to vote for a leader who will change the current situation of our roads,” Duncan Mwangi a voter in Wangige Primary School said.
“Some of our roads are in poor condition and also a school like this.”
Those who spoke to Capital FM News attributed the low turnout to the choice of the day by IEBC but hopes majority of resident would turn out later in the day to express their voice.
“Kabete is a busy constituency…the numbers will not match those of the general election,” Peter Ngige a voter at Wangige Market polling center said.
Others said they want to make their daily income first and vote later since it was only a by-election.
“I want to make money first and then I will go to vote…my business first,” a trader in Wangige market said.
Wangige Primary School will be at the tallying center where the returning officer Esther Wanjiku is expected to announce the winner of the by-election once counting is concluded.
Nine candidates have expressed interest in the seat that was left vacant after the murder of the area Member of Parliament George Muchai.
The candidates include Jubilee Alliance Party candidate Ferdinard Waititu, George Waiguru (Independent), Isaiah Ndirangu (Party of Democratic Unity), John Wamagata (Safina), Kavore Kariuki (Narc-Kenya) and Kiriro wa Ngugi (Democratic Party).
Others include Newton Njenga (National Vision Party), Paul Kariuki Wandere (Progressive Party of Kenya) and Wilson Karanja Kamau (Orange Democratic Movement).
Residents hope the exercise will be credible so that they can get the person who will carry on Muchai’s development agenda.
“We just want a true leader who has the interest of the constituency at heart,” Mercy Mwangi a resident of the constituency said.
Over 200 security officers have been deployed in all the 33 polling centser in an election being overseen by 750 Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission staff.
There are 62,470 registered voters in the constituency. Only two contenders are registered in Kabete constituency and will eventually vote.