Tuesday, December 9, 2008



By Standard Reporters

Violence, parallel elections and logistic hiccups marred ODM branch elections in many parts of the country.

At least two people were seriously injured in Rongo and Kisumu Town East constituencies as elections took an ugly turn.

An aspirant in ODM elections, Lawrence Otieno (right), confronts Returning Officer George Okumu outside Orange House, Nairobi, in a bid to stop him from presenting Kibera results. [PHOTO: KIBERA MBUGUA/standard]

Cabinet Ministers Dalmas Otieno, James Orengo and Chris Obure were among senior politicians who pitched camp in their constituencies to monitor the elections.

While Mr Obure and Mr Orengo won in their constituencies, Mr Otieno was fighting it out with his predecessor, Ochillo Ayacko.

In Samia, confrontations marred the elections forcing officials to call of the polls.

Violence between supporters of Cabinet Minister Paul Otuoma and his rivals scared off voters, who had hoped to elect branch officials.


Mr Patrick Afande, who was one those seeking the branch chairmanship, said the atmosphere was hostile to voters.

He said all contestants who felt threatened had filed their complaints to party headquarters through the returning officer, Mr Wilfred Were.

"There was a lot of intimidation which turned violent, forcing people to flee from voting centres," said Afande.

Efforts to contact Otuoma were fruitless, as he could not be reached on phone.

ODM headquarters in Nairobi was notified of the situation and agreed that the polls had to be called off.

In Vihiga, supporters of area MP Mr Yusuf Chanzu and those of former legislator Andrew Ligale held parallel elections. The returning officer, Mr Jonathan Angote, however, said Chanzu was elected unopposed.

In Rongai, there was confusion as supporters of MP Luka Kigen and those of his rival Joseph Kimetto also held parallel elections.

Kigen and his team held their polls at Morop Girls High School while Kimetto was elected chairman in elections held in Rongai town.

In Eldama Ravine, there was a standoff between the supporters of area MP Moses Lessonet and nominated MP Musa Sirma.

Paralysed elections

The standoff paralysed elections at Sagat and Koisamus sub-locations.

At Sagat, members allied to Sirma walked away in protest after the retuning officer Manuel Mackay declared Mr Kiprotich Wendot the winner.

In Malindi, heckling marred elections after a rival camp attempted to serve the other with a court injunction.

In Taveta, two groups held parallel elections. One faction led by Mrs Ruth Lelewu held elections on Sunday while another led by former Taveta MP Basil Criticos held polls on Monday.