, KIAMBU, Kenya, Oct 26 – Voting got underway in Kiambu County Thursday, where thousands of residents lined up to vote for their preferred candidate in the fresh presidential election.
Most of the 1,963 polling stations spread across the 12 constituencies in the populous county opened at 6am to allow residents who were streaming into their respective polling centres cast their votes amid chilly weather.
Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu who voted at the Wangige Market polling station told the media that local leaders had conducted mobilization campaigns to ensure the close to 1.2 million registered voters in the populous county turn out and vote.
Waititu said Thursday’s vote was particularly important because it offers the residents who overwhelmingly voted for President Uhuru Kenyatta (Jubilee Party) during the August 8 General Election annulled by the Supreme Court, an opportunity to reaffirm their support for the Head of State.
“We want to prove that actually, President Kenyatta has over 60 per cent support in this nation,” Governor Waititu remarked.
“We have campaigned and mobilised our people and we are sure on one million votes. People feel so bad that the National Super Alliance (NASA) wanted to sabotage this election by mounting numerous court cases at the last minute,” he said.
He took a swipe at NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s boycott of the election and the announcement of a National Resistance Movement during a rally at Uhuru Park on Wednesday, a day before the election, terming the move as desperate.
According to Waititu, Odinga’s move was a diversionary intended to dissuade Kenyans from exercising their democratic right to vote.
“Odinga is trying to form a movement because he has lost an election but that is a futile move. He is misleading his people because everybody was prepared for the election,” Governor Waititu sated.
At the Wangige Health Centre voters queuing to elect their preferred presidential candidate told Capital FM News that they were confident of a fruitful exercise, adding they were glad all hurdles mounted ahead of the election had been cleared.
They exuded confidence in President Kenyatta’s victory, saying they looked forward to him garnering most votes in the county.
“I am so excited because we have been praying for this day especially because we kept hearing that there were cases in court seeking to have this election postponed,” Ngina Kimani, a voter in her early 60s told Capital FM News.
“We thank God that the way was finally cleared for us to vote,” she added.
Kiambu has 1,180,920 registered voters with 985,152 valid votes recorded in the last presidential election in August.
President Kenyatta at the time garnered 912,588 votes compared to National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga’s 69,190.
Other than President Kenyatta and Odinga, other candidates on the ballot are Ekuru Aukot (Thirdway Alliance), Alliance for Real Change leader Abduba Dida, Cyrus Jirongo (United Democratic Party), and independent candidates Joseph Nyagah, Michael Wainaina and Japheth Kaluyu.
President Kenyatta was set to vote at Mutomo polling station in Gatundu South constituency before midday.