Elections stakeholders in Meru County including the security committee and Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) have expressed their satisfaction with the preparedness for General Elections set for Tuesday, August 9.
Speaking at a press briefing, Meru County Commissioner Mr Fred Ndunga said everything was ready to see to it that there was security in every corner of the county during and after the elections.
“We are through with all the plans to ensure that residents were assured of security as they exercise their democratic rights of voting leaders who will serve them for the next five years,” said Mr Ndunga.
Meru County has 772,139 registered voters in nine constituencies and 45 wards.
Additionally, there are 1,043 polling centres and a total of 1,639 polling stations including four of them at the prisons as well as 10 tallying centres.
Mr Ndunga said there will be at least two police officers in every polling station, ten in every constituency tallying centres and 20 at the County tallying centre.
“In addition, we will have standby response teams from our formed units who will be called upon in case of any eventuality,” said Mr Ndunga.
He added that there will also be a county command centre where residents will be required to report any happenings from wherever they within the county using the number 0798252620 for an appropriate action to be taken.
He also said there are areas in the county which will require more focus including Imenti North, Igembe and Tigania regions, especially where chaos was reported during the campaign period.
“Even as we are voting, we are also aware of vulnerable areas in terms of security, especially areas bordering the county where criminals may take advantage of our focus on elections but we want to assure the residents that we are ready to deal with any eventuality that may arise,” said Mr Ndunga.
On his side, IEBC County Returning Officer Mr William Ndungú exuded confidence that the election process will move on smoothly adding that everything was in place including all the voting materials.
“I want to assure the nation and Meru fraternity that we are set for purposes of elections tomorrow. We have already distributed all the materials including the ballot papers to the various tallying centres. What is happening at the moment is opening the ballot pallets,” said Mr Ndungú.
He said all elections officers including the Presiding Officers and their Deputies have been adequately trained and are at the various tallying centres for the collection of materials.
Mr Ndungú said they have also catered for the People with Disabilities (PWDs) by ensuring all the polling stations are friendly to them in terms of access and also reserved ballot papers in braille form for those who applied.
He said all their personnel have also been trained in giving special preference to PWDs when they come to the queue.
By Dickson Mwiti