, MERU, Kenya, Aug 8 – Long queues formed as early as 3am in Meru County with enthusiastic locals hoping to cast their votes and make their voices heard on Tuesday.
Majority of voters said they were eager to vote for their respective leaders and proceed home to wait for the outcome.
Others told Capital FM News that they wanted to cast their votes early and proceed to other activities.
“I arrived here at 3am. I could not sleep… I am ready to vote for my next leaders and I hope they will win,” Jane Wambui said.
And it was evident in their faces as they patiently waited for 6am, when voting kicked off.
“I will vote and proceed home to wait for the outcome. All we want is peace… Whether my leaders of choice wins or not, Kenya must move forward,” Mohammed Mutwiri, a local said.
Meru County is at the slopes of Mount Kenya and Tuesday like the case on other days was chilly but they said they won’t leave the polling stations until they cast their votes.
“It is about the future of Meru and Kenya that we want to secure,” Jane Kagwiria said.
“I will stay here until I exercise my constitutional right.”
Aisha Wambui arrived at 3am to cast her vote and proceed to work.
“Life continues after this. May Kenya remain peaceful… Let us not destroy the country in one day, ” Wambui appealed.
Sentiments shared by tens of other voters.
At the municipality ward polling centre in Meru town the queues were as long as a kilometer by 6am when voting started.
Meru County has more than 700,000 registered voters with the gubernatorial position being the highly contested.
It’s a tough contest between the incumbent Governor Peter Munya, of the Party of the National Unity and Senator Kiraitu Murungi (Jubilee), but for the locals, they want peace during and after the polls.
The county had incidents of violence between rival groups but police have assured that security will be tight in all areas.
Every polling station will have two police officers while others will be deployed in strategic places to ensure sanity prevails, in the County and across all parts of the country.
The County has nine constituencies.
This is a breakdown of the registered votes: Buuri 76,033, Central Imenti 70,124, South Imenti 107, 414, Igembe South 68,166, Igembe Central 83,912, Igembe North 67,350, Tigania East 64,350, Tigania West 64,114, Tigania East 75, 920 and North Imenti with 89,447.
In the race for Senator, the main competition is between MP Mithika Linturi of Jubilee and Party of National Unity Mugambi Imanyara.