, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 7 – Counting of ballots got underway in Malindi and Kericho after polls closed at 5pm Monday, in a day that was marked by counter-claims of voter bribery.
Capital FM News reporters and correspondents covering the by -elections in the two areas indicated that voting closed as scheduled.
But despite the accusations traded by politicians, voters interviewed expressed confidence that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) would ensure fairness in the final outcome.
Jubilee Alliance Party’s Aaron Cheruiyot and KANU’s Kipkorir arap Sang are seen as front runners Kericho senate seat in the contest that has been described as a supremacy battle between Deputy President William Ruto and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi of KANU.
In Malindi Constituency polls, Philip Charo of Jubilee Alliance Party is battling it out with Willy Mtengo of the Orange Democratic Movement party to replace Dan Kazungu who was appointed Mining Cabinet Secretary.
Monday’s by-elections were marked by massive allegations of voter bribery by the opposing sides, both in Malindi and Kericho.
In one incident, police were forced to shoot in the air to disperse a group of youths who had attacked Lamu East MP Shariff Athman who was accused of buying votes.
Mwea MP Peter Gitau was also rescued from a mob mainly comprising ODM supporters who had accused him of bribing voters before he lodged a complaint of assault at the Kilifi Police Station.
Also ejected from a polling station in Malindi was Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu who faced accusations of vote buying, as well as forcing himself into a voting centre.
Police were forced to intervene during a confrontation between Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and the Kabete Member of Parliament.
Similar accusations of voter bribery were made in Kericho where Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter warned of action should rivals continue to intimidate voters.