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Voter apathy, bribery, mistrust mars Bungoma elections

19 December 2013, 14:08 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - The Bungoma by elections were expected to be close knit and full of controversy considering the prize at stake and importance of the outcome to the country's political landscape.

Cord principal Moses Wetangula, who lost the seat after the High court annuled his victory is the front runner for the seat with Amani's Musikari Kombo following close by.

A win for either side is likely to have far reaching repercussions to the region's political landscape and especially to the Cord coalition who are banking on Wetangula's presence in the senate.

The two major camps have been engaged in a war of words over bribery with both sides accusing each other of plotting to win the elections unfairly.

Wetangula was the first to vote at Kabochei Thursday morning, with Kombo casting his vote later on in Webuye. The two have severally accused each other of plots to rig the election.

" I ask the police to be watchful because there is a plot by the Jubilee government to rig the elections, Wetangula said after casting his vote.

Kombo on the other hand was adamant that there is a plot by Cord sympathizers to ensure a win for Wetangula.

" We have reports that Wetangula's people plan to cause havoc at the polling stations and so I hope that there will be no such incidences, he said.

Bifwoli Wakoli of the Labour party cast his vote in his Bumula constituency and decried cases of voter bribery.

" There have been cases of voter bribery and the authorities have done nothing. It is in my view a spoilt election already, he said.

By midday, there had been a low voter turnout which has been attributed to the style of politics being displayed by both sides.

" There has been no one talking about the people of Bungoma other than name calling in the campaigns. They are clearly not out to help the people, Collins Wesula who has abstained from voting said.

There were isolated incidents of violence in the elections and County Police Commander Maalim Mohammed said that they had been dealt with.

" There have been cases of bribery and small incidences of voilence that have been taken care of by the police. Things are okay thus far, he said.

The polling stations are expected to close at 6 PM with vote counting beginning right after and expected to continue through the night.

- News24

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