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Supkem Suspends Kisumu Elections over wrangles

The election of the next Chairman of the Kisumu Muslims Association has hit yet another snag after the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims suspended the exercise that was slated for Sunday January 27.

The move follows the decision by a board dispatched by Supkem to assess the situation on the ground following reports of sharp divisions in the association ahead of the Sunday poll.

The board, in a joint statement read by the secretary Abdala Ondijo, cancelled the exercise until issues causing divisions among the candidates contesting the post are resolved, this is despite an existing court order that directed the association to conduct the overdue elections.

“The board has decided that no elections shall take place until modalities that are agreeable to both the parties are put in place,” said Ondijo during the press conference at the Jumia mosque in Kisumu on Wednesday evening.

Other board members present at the briefing were the Regional coordinators for Western and Nyanza Alhaji Abdi Wafula and Alhaji Juma Musa, and a Trustee.

At the center of the controversy is the disputed register of valid members who are allowed to participate in electing the new Chairman.

A row seems two have emerged between the supporters of the incumbent Sheikh Alfan Ismail and members aligned to his opponent, Sheikh Musa Ismail Haj with the latter accusing the former of resorting to multiple electoral malpractices to retain the seat.

“There are 1, 240 legitimate members who are supposed to participate in the elections, but there is information that my opponent plans to introduce a doctored list that has been secretly prepared and contrary to the rules governing the exercise,” claimed Musa who spoke on the sidelines of the press briefing.

Musa further accused his rival of planning to rig the elections by fixing one of his employees as a member of the elections board.

The impending polls are also being dogged by concerns over the right constitution to guide the exercise with allegations rife, among members that a document that is inconsistent with the one deposited with the registrar of societies could be in use.

The board has however urged the Muslim faithful to remain calm and assured that the elections will be conducted under strict supervision of Supkem and in strict adherence to the laid down regulations.

Musa threatened to mobilize to resist any attempts to hold the elections on Sunday and before adequate steps are taken to address the divisive electoral issues insisting that the polls must be conducted in a free and fair manner.

By Milton Onyango

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