KIAMBU, Kenya, Aug 8 – Thousands of Kiambu voters gathered at 1,963 polling stations spread across the 12 constituencies in the populous county to cast their votes.
At Gathaiti Primary School in Lari constituency, voters who started trickling in as early as 4am in the morning said they were eager to participate in the polls not just to elect their preferred presidential candidate but also representatives for the other five elective seats in a county with 1,180,920 registered electors.
In Kabete constituency, voters at Wangige Health Centre also continued to arrive in their hundreds at the polling centre expressing optimism that the polling process will be seamless.
“I arrived here at 5am and things were really smooth, there were no cases of irregular voting. If they continue with this pace, everybody will be able to vote by 3pm,” Grace Wambui told Capital FM News accompanied by her mother Marion Wanjiku, 75.
“I think that they will allow everybody who is here by 5pm to vote. I am really happy they split the centre into streams because that has really improved the voting process,” yet another voter, Winnie Wangari, said after casting her vote.
Samuel Mwaura, the presiding officer at Wangige Health Centre told Capital FM News that the voting process was quick given the division of the voters into streams not exceeding 700 voters.
“The process is smooth and we’re moving on well. Voters were here as early as 4am but we opened on time at 6 am,” the poll official said.
Mwaura said every voter who shows up to vote will be allowed to do so provided they get to the polling station before 5pm, the official time by which voting centres close.
“The time we close will be dictated by the voters turn out because we cannot deny anyone who is here by 5pm and opportunity to vote,” said the officer at the polling station with 643 registered voters.
Simon Muiruri, the Deputy Presiding Officer at King’eero Primary School, which has 628 registered, voters told us the voting process at the centre was smooth despite the huge turnout.
He expressed gratitude to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for coming up with the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (KIEMS) saying the technology was working as expected.
Further, he said the polling station was equipped with enough backup power in the event of a power outage.
Voters in Kiambu are faced with a tough choice between retaining the incumbent Governor William Kabogo who defected from the Jubilee Party to run as an independent candidate after losing in party primaries held in April to Kabete lawmaker Ferdinand Waititu.
Waititu is expected to give Kabogo a run for his money going by the landslide victory he secured in primaries.
Kabogo who had conceded to Waititu before retracting to defend his seat blamed propaganda and sabotage by senior Jubilee officials for his loss.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to cast his vote at in Gatundu at about 9.30am.