, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8 – Several voters at the Kariokor Social Hall polling station were hurt after police lobbed teargas and beat up voters in an effort to restore order at the polling station.
Police officers on the ground said that a section of the voters wanted to force their way into the hall but voters in turn blamed IEBC officials for disorganisation at the polling station.
“People were trying to get in by force and the police used teargas to disperse the crowd that was threatening to break down the door. But this was because of the confusion brought about by the late opening of the polling station,” said Peter Kangai, a voter at the polling station.
Among the injured was a woman who broke her leg and an elderly man who suffered soft tissue injuries following the stampede.
They were both rushed to hospital for treatment.
Starehe parliamentary candidate Boniface Mwangi who spoke at the hall urged voters to be patient with the process noting that the chaos seen at Kariokor was an exception to what he had witnessed in other polling stations.
“There are some people who have been here from 3am, they have gone away because of the disorganisation from the start. Now the teargas has turned more people away,” Mwangi said.
At the same polling station, one voter was not been able to cast his ballot after the KIEMS system failed to read his fingerprints nine hours after he had camped outside the hall.
“I have diabetes and I haven’t carried my insulin injection. They (IEBC officials) have been telling me to wait and it’s now hours since they told me they don’t have forms,” said the elderly man who travelled from Muranga to vote.
According to IEBC, if the KIEMS fingerprint scanner fails to identify a voter, clerks will use the alphanumeric identification using the ID number to authenticate a voter.