William Makhalanya Libombolo, a Member of the County Assembly (MCA) candidate on the Movement for Democracy and Growth ticket, is facing strong allegations that he ferried people from other areas to vote for him in Lugari Ward in the ongoing election.
Violet Ananda alias Mama Bomba, one of Makhalanya’s opponents in the election under the ODM ticket, laid bare how her competitor has been active for the better part of yesterday night and today morning in transporting people from the neighboring Chekalini Ward to polling stations in Lugari Ward, notably Lugari Township Primary School and Kiwanja Ndege Primary School.
“Last night, we followed up one of the trucks that were ferrying voters from Mapengo in Chekalini Ward after receiving a tip-off,” Ms. Ananda raised the allegations while speaking to the Western Kenya Times.
A video and pictures sent to the Western Kenya Times show a car in hot pursuit of a truck with registration number KCC 671M with people behind it at night.
A source that requested anonymity claimed that a fracas ensued at the Lugari Township Primary School polling station near the Lugari Station market today morning when members of the public tried to block people suspected to be non-residents ferried to the station to vote for Mr. Makhalanya.
“The candidate has been up to the plans since a few days ago. There was a fracas at Lugari Township after voters tried to stop suspected non-residents from entering the polling station to vote,” the source revealed, saying some of the voters came from as far as Nzoia in the neighboring Uasin Gishu County.
Ms. Violet Ananda confirmed that there was indeed some drama at the polling station that thwarted the plan to introduce ineligible voters, though she is not certain to what extent that has gone to affect the election results.
“I will challenge the election in court if he wins,” she said.
What did Makhalanya say?
Mr. Makhalanya vehemently denied the claims presented to him and said he has been a target of his opponents since when he announced his ambition to vie for the seat.
“Recently, I was attacked and got involved in an accident engineered by my opponents but I never spoke… The claims are an indication that I am up to a win today. It is the tree with good fruits that is stoned,” he said.
He said the allegations do not affect him and is ready to defend himself in court if challenged.
How is this possible?
IEBC regulations require that a voter be properly identified by presenting his or her original ID card or passport to a designated official before their biometrics are checked with the KIEMS kit device.
This mechanism potentially blocks out ineligible voters in a specific polling station, such that one is not able to vote at another place apart from their polling stream even if it were another stream in the same polling station.
There have been, however, allegations of candidates successfully ferrying non-residents to vote for them in their designated stations.
The Western Kenya Times is carrying out more investigations into the claims against Mr. Makhalanya.
Sam Oduor is the editor-in-chief at the Western Kenya Times who leverages the power of the Internet in telling stories that shape opinions.