KIAMBAA, Kenya July 15 – Elderly people turned out in large numbers on Thursday to participate in the Kiambaa Constituency by-election held in strict conformity to the COVID-19 containment regulations.
Despite the chilling weather that was at some point at 17 degrees celsius and the rain that thereafter followed, the senior citizens were determined to cast their vote.
A majority of the old folk especially women who used walking sticks were seen by Capital News in some of the polling stations casting their votes with the support of officials from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Rachel Mugure, 80, revealed that her resolve to vote in the mini-poll was premised on the need for change in the constituency.
“I want to see change. The people deserve to elect good leaders who will work for them,” she said.
Mugure who has religiously participated in almost all the elections in the country since she became an illegible voter underscored the need for people to elect good leaders who will deliver on their mandate.
“We need a serious government which works for the people and that can only be realised of we choose the right leaders,” she said.
Wambui Njenga aged 70 who also braved the chilling weather noted that change is only brought through the ballot.
She noted that she is keen to see the new area MP enhance service delivery to people by building more roads and creating employment for the youths.
“I want to see my children employed and empowered,” she said.
She vowed to continue exercising her democratic right until she breathes her last.
The Jubilee Party candidate Kariri Njama exuded confidence of emerging victorious in the race that was occasioned by the death of Paul Koinange who succumbed to COVID-19 in March.
Njama who voted in Gachii Primary School Polling Centre noted he is happy with the conduct of the exercise thus far and thanked his supporters for turning out to participate in the exercise.
“I am satisfied with the process and we as a party are hopeful that we will carry the day,” he said.
Njama unsuccessfully vied in 2017 but lost to Koinange.
United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate John Njuguna who voted at the Thimbugua Primary School polling station also expressed optimism in clinching the seat.
“I am appealing to all Kiambaa residents to maintain peace. They should also come out in large numbers to exercise their democratic right of voting their new leader. I’m optimistic that the victory belongs to us,” he said.
Njama and Njuguna are considered the lead contenders in the race that has also attracted six other candidates.
IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati who toured the main tallying centre at Karuri High School noted that he was satisfied with the exercise.
“The process has so far been peaceful and that is what we like to see as a Commission,” he said adding that the voter turnout was so far at 20 percent.
He revealed that one person who tried to use somebody else’s identity to vote had been arrested.
The voting exercise was set to close at 5pm with Chebukati confirming that no extension will be granted.