All preparations are set for the August 9 General election as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) assures Kenyans of credible polls.
Speaking to KNA on the sidelines of preparations, Kakamega County Returning Officer Joseph Ayatta said all materials required for the general election are already in all the tallying centres in the county.
This includes ballot papers for Governor, Senator, Woman Representative, Member of Parliament and for Members of County Assembly (MCA) positions.
The Commission was still waiting for ballot papers for the President which are yet to arrive.
Ayatta said the commission has also distributed Kenya Integrated Electoral Management System (KIEMS) kits in all the 12 constituencies, which are configured to particular polling stations.
“The Commission has provided six extra KIEMS kits per ward as backups in case of mechanical problems,” he added.
Ayatta noted that the commission has trained polling officers who include returning officers, Support Election Trainers (SETs) who trained the Presiding Officers (POs) yesterday.
“On 7th August, we expect all the POs and clerks to have a tour of the polling stations where they are going to be stationed during the Election Day,” he noted.
He said the commission has availed the voting register in all polling stations across the county where the electorate can go and confirm where they are going to vote from.
The Returning Officer urged residents to come out and vote assuring them of enough security and credibility of elections.
“Everything is in order. It is completely impossible for anybody to influence election results. So every voter should vote and go back home to wait for results,” he noted.
After the voting exercise, counting will be done at the polling stations, where the agents’ representatives of the party and candidates agents will sign Form F34A together with the presiding officers.
The Presiding Officer will then post a copy of the form in front of the polling station. “Any person will be able to see the Form F34A which will contain results of voting at a polling station, therefore there is no way the results will be tempered with,” he pointed out.
He said that most areas of Kakamega have 3G network coverage. The Commission will also provide satellite phones to areas with poor network coverage.
In addition, Ayatta said officers from the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) have visited all tallying centres to ensure they have stable electricity.
“We shall also have backup generators in all the Tallying centres. Kenya power is also working to ensure there is stable power in all polling stations in the county,” he added.
He said tallying centres will be under tight security asking Kenyans to give the commission maximum cooperation.
The County Tallying Centre will be at Kakamega High School where only few people will be allowed in.
In Lugari, the tallying Centre will be at Friends Church Lumakanda and in Likuyani at Moi Girls Nangili High School while in Malava, tallying will be at Malava Boys High School.
In Lurambi tallying will be done at Kakamega Hill School while Navakholo’s will be at Chebuyusi Boys’ High School.
In Mumias West, the tallying centre will be at ACK Hall Bomani, in Mumias East at Shianda Polytechnic and at Bulimbo Girls Secondary School for Matungu Constituency.
In Butere, the Tallying Centre will be at Butere Girls High School, in Khwisero at ACK St. Johns Khwisero Secondary while in Shinyalu the tallying will be at St. Ann’s Shibuye Girls High School and at Makhokho Secondary School for Ikolomani Constituency.
“We will ensure the wishes of the people of Kenya are respected. We have talked to our staff whom we have recruited and put them under oath to do the right thing,” he noted.
Kakamega has a total of 844 709 registered voters and 1685 Polling stations.
The Commission has cleared seven candidates for the Governorship position, seven for woman representative position, seven for the Senate seat, 89 for Member of Parliament seat and 573 candidates for Member of County Assembly (MCA).
Out of the number of cleared candidates, two women are running as deputy governors, seven for County Woman Member of National Assembly, six for Member of Parliament Position and 42 women for MCAs seats.
The County has 12 constituencies and 60 wards being the second largest after Nairobi County.
By George Kaiga and Moses Wekesa