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Lang'ata lawmaker Nixon Korir flees counters a teargas canister thrown at him by police/COURTESY

Kenya

Violence, bribery claims mar mini-polls in Western and Rift Valley

In Matungu, supporters of ANC’s candidate Peter Nabulindo and ODM’s David Were clashed following accusations of voter bribery.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 4 – There have been reports of violence and voter bribery in various polling stations on Thursday in ongoing by-elections, leaving some injured and vehicles vandalized.

In Matungu, supporters of ANC’s candidate Peter Nabulindo and ODM’s David Were clashed following accusations of voter bribery.

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala accused ODM of stuffing ballot boxes, claiming police have been compromised.

“We have witnessed a very unfair process of election after visiting more than 20 polling stations and we have caught ODM officials bribing voters inside polling stations, what we are saying is we want a fair election,” said Malala.

Malala also claimed to have lost Sh2.5 million during the fracas.

Kasipul Kabondo MP Charles Were was arrested in Matungu after claims that his car was found with election materials. However he claimed that “he was just paying a visit to the police station.”

Four parliamentarians were also arrested for allegedly intimidating voters during the Kabuchai constituency by-election in Bungoma County.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, Chesumei MP Wilson Kogo and Belgut MP Nelson Koech– were taken to Bungoma Police Station where they were held for interrogation.

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The leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto were nabbed shortly after escorting the United Democratic Alliance party candidate Evans Kakai to cast his vote.

“All of us were roughed up and placed in a police vehicle and up to now I don’t know why am in this police station. The same thing that happened in Kibera and Msambweni meant to intimidate voters and leaders,” said Belgut MP.

“It’s just pressure they want to be seen that they have arrested us,” said Senator Cheragei.

“Wherever they are let them know that I can’t lose my hat twice, I lost it in Kibera and I will not lose it here,” said MP Didmus Barasa.

Earlier on former Sports Cabinet Secretary assaulted an Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) official at Bulonga polling station in Matungu. He accused IEBC official Peter Okura of barring their agent to witness the voting process.

In London Ward, police were forced to lob teargas to disperse confrontations at the polling center.

In the Kiakoma Ward by elections in Kisii, police also arrested UDA candidate Nyandusi Nyakeramba a few meters from Mulimani polling station where he was going to cast his vote.

Police said they recovered money stocked in a trevelling bag inside the politician’s car.

He was arrested alongside a woman who accompanied him to the polling station.

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Nyakeramba was later released without charges.

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