News 2007


ECK to monitor polls in Mt Elgon

The Standard

Wednesday October 24, 2007

By Isaiah Lucheli and Jibril Adan

Three Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) commissioners have expressed concern over insecurity in Mt Elgon District ahead of the General Election.

Commissioners Jack Tumwa, Jeremiah Matagaro and Samuel arap Ngeny had visited the district to assess the security situation ahead of the polls.

During the visit, the commissioners, who were accompanied by the Mt Elgon District Election Co-ordinator, Ms Loice Psenjen, toured polling stations in Kopsiro, Banantega, Chebyuk and Emia location where thousands of people have fled from.

"This is very worrying. Many people have fled from their homes and this poses a big challenge to the commission," said Tumwa.

Psenjen said the commissioner approved the creation of a polling station at Labot in Chepkitale National Reserve where over 10,000 members of the Ogiek community who fled the clashes have settled.

Tumwa, however, said that after parties carry out nominations, ECK would meet aspirants and come up with centrally positioned mobile units in the affected areas.

The Mt Elgon DC, Mr Mohamed Birik, assured the commissioners that the Government would beef up security during campaigns.

Meanwhile, ECK has given an assurance that it will address complaints over plans to move four polling stations with 30,000 voters from Kisauni constituency to Mvita.

ECK’s lawyer, Ms Jemima Keli, told Justice Joseph Nyamu that they had received complaints from Mr Hassan Ali Joho, an aspirant for the Kisauni seat, challenging the move.

She told the High Court that they had instructed the Government Printer to put on hold a Kenya Gazette that was to announce the transfer of the polling stations before the elections.

The statements were made in a case in which Joho has sued the ECK accusing it of attempting to assist the immediate former MP, Mr Anania Mwaboza, to win.

Joho had further claimed there was a plot to disenfranchise the voters in the constituency since there was no time to educate them and make changes on their elector’s cards.

Keli said ECK commissioners would deliberate on the matter and issue a directive soon.

The case will be mentioned on Friday.