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Prisoners vote for the first time in Kenya’s elections

At the Nyeri Maximum Prison, the inmates expressed their joy at being allowed to vote saying they are able to be part of changing the country’s history/MOSES MUOKI

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8 – As Kenyans continue to vote in the General Election, prisoners were also given the privilege of exercising their democratic right when they participated in the process to elect candidates but only for the post of President.

At the Nyeri Maximum Prison, the inmates expressed their joy at being allowed to vote saying they are able to be part of changing the country’s history.

“This is my first time to vote in the elections and I am very happy because it also dignifies us so that we can exercise our rights,” one of the inmates stated.

“I have been here for 15 years. I would like to urge all Kenyans to vote peacefully so that we may secure our nation,” another stated.

At the Kamiti Maximum Prison, the head of the African Union Observer Mission Thabo Mbeki who is the Former South African President described it as a step in the right direction as it gave the inmates hope that they can make a contribution to the society.

“All of us thought that it was indeed a very good decision that had been taken by Kenya that prisoners should also have the responsibility to vote.”

“It is an important demonstration because in the end with the prisoners, you need a process of rehabilitation and readmission into society as normal people. Part of this process of voting for the President of the country becomes part of the renormalisation,” he stated.

The presiding officer at the prison described it as a unique polling station as it catered for a special group of people.

“We were here by 5 o’clock and we were ready and had opened our station at 6am. So far, we have proceeded well with no incidences, they are well organised and by 5pm, we should finish,” he stated.

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Jubilee presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA’s Raila Odinga while casting their vote urged Kenyans to maintain peace throughout the election period as they prepare to wait for the results.

President Kenyatta who spoke to journalists after casting the ballot at Mutomo Primary School in Gatundu stated that he is confident of victory as he joins the rest of Kenyans in awaiting the results.

Odinga voted at Old Kibera Primary School here in Nairobi, with a plea to Kenyans to maintain peace while reiterating his earlier assurance that he will accept the results.

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