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Kiambaa voters seek change as they vote in mini-poll

KIAMBU, Kenya July 15 – “We want change and a leader who can work for us”, those were the words of Jackylne Wangechi who braved the Thursday morning chilling weather to participate in the ongoing Kiambaa Constituency by-election.

The sentiments of Wangechi are shared with many in the populous region in Kiambu County which has 95, 413 registered voters.

Wangechi who voted at the Ruaka polling Station said she wants the new Member of Parliament to empower the Kiambaa constituents.

“I am unemployed and I want to be empowered. I want resources to be brought here on the ground and change is what we need,” she said.

Wangechi, a casual labourer noted that she is hopeful that her preferred candidate will walk the talk and catapult the constituency’s economy growth to another level.

“We want to grow and we want to have more money on the ground,” she said.

Robinson Ochieng who also cast his vote early noted that his motivation to exercise his democratic right is hinged on longing for a better tomorrow.

Ochieng pointed out that he hopes that the new area Member of Parliament will invest heavily on infrastructure this as he decried that many areas in the constituency have poor roads.

“Accessibility is key in matters development and we need roads to be improved and more to be built,” he said.

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He observed that the regions’ connectivity to Nairobi should be eased and hoped that it will be realised when the new lawmaker will be known and subsequently sworn into office.

Michael Musimba on his part noted that he wants to see the standard of education in the constituency alleviated where school-going children are accorded affordable and quality education.

“There is nothing more powerful like a good education and that is what we want,” he said.

A spot check by Capital News in majority of the polling stations revealed a low voter turn out but officials of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) expressed optimism that the numbers will increase as the day progresses.

The constituency has a total of 154 polling stations. Karuri High School is the main tallying centre of the exercise.

Security has been beefed up in all the polling stations in a bid to curb any incidents that may disrupt the exercise.

The voting was taking place under strict guidelines of the COVID-19 with the electoral officials ensuring that the voters safety is guaranteed.

Voters who trooped to polling stations without face masks were returned with those given access first directed to designated washing points to wash their hands before before temperatures taken.

The seat that fell vacant following the death of Paul Koinange who succumbed to COVID-19 in March has attracted six candidates in a high-stake poll that witnessed robust campaigns pitting Jubilee Party candidate Kariri Njama and John Njuguna of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party that is associated to Deputy President William Ruto.

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Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu who is rooting for the victory of of the Jubilee Party candidate and toured the main tallying centre lauded the process and urged voters to turn out.

“I am happy with the process, the turn out is good and we hope to carry the day,” he said.

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