, MACHAKOS, Kenya, Aug 8 – Residents of Machakos Town constituency on Tuesday braved the chilly morning and took part in this year’s General Election.
Voters streamed to polling stations as early as 5am eager to participate in the polls not just to elect their preferred presidential candidate but also representatives for the other five elective seats.
Large turnouts were recorded in most polling stations with majority recording more than half of voter turnout.
In an interview with Capital FM News residents stated that they were looking forward to a peaceful voting process.
“Let us carry out our civic duty, there is no need for us to turn against each other and destroy all in a day what has taken years to build,” a voter said.
The County Election Manager Joyce Wamalwa echoed the voter’s sentiments adding that of the 1,332 polling stations in the constituency, almost all had opened on time.
“I want to say that the voting process has turned out very well, for instance at the Mulu Mutisya Gardens we have registered a 60 per cent turnout,” she said, “This is also evident in the other polling stations.”
Wamalwa also noted that polling stations which opened late will extend voting to recover the lost time.
“We hope to have the 30 per cent of the yet to vote voters do so before 5pm when the voting exercise will end,” Wamalwa explained.
She further called on voters to ensure peace as the carry out their constitutional right.
“I appeal to the residents of Machakos that after voting please go home, and wait for the results to be announced.”
This year’s General Election has attracted several politicians for Machakos Governor with the incumbent Alfred Mutua of the Maendeleo Chap Chap party battling out with former Kathiani Member of Parliament (MP) who is vying on a Wiper Party ticket and Lemmy Muia who is vying on Jubilee ticket.
Mutua earlier in the day cast his vote at the Mathatani Primary School polling station at the Mavoko constituency where he exuded confidence to win the race.
He spoke against voter bribery which he claimed had been happening in some parts of the constituency.
“The use of money to bribe voters is an election offense and I urge our people not to be bought with Sh200 and to stay forever without essential services.”
However Mutua said he had raised the matter with the relevant authorities and urged his supporters and agents to stay vigilant and report any cases of irregularities.
The six constituencies Mutua claimed voter bribery was taking place include Kathiani, Masinga, Yatta, Mwala, Mavoko and Machakos town.
Ndeti cast her vote at the Madaraka Social Hall in Mavoko constituency where she commended the electoral body for the smooth running of operations.
She also called upon voters and leaders to maintain peace during and after the elections.
“We should be ready to accept the verdict of the voters and not to indulge in any acts which may trigger political violence. The elections are not a matter of life and death.”
Lemmy Muia, vying on Jubilee ticket and who is also in the race for the top seat cast his vote at Mathinagu polling station in Yatta constituency, where he also commended the electoral body for ensuring the process is efficiently done.
Machakos County has 620,254 registered voters.