The voting process in some parts of Mombasa County started late despite a large number of voters coming out to exercise their constitutional right.
Mombasa County ODM gubernatorial aspirant, Abdulswamad Sharif Nassir, cast his vote at the Mvita Primary School at around 10.30 am.
However, the outgoing Mvita Member of the National Assembly noted that there are some hitches in a number of Polling Stations in the County that led to the delay of the voting process.
He asked IEBC officials to extend the voting time for the affected places to recover the missed time.
At Mvita Primary School Polling Station, voting started at around 9:30 am as ballot papers were brought in late.
“You can’t deny someone’s constitutional right to elect the leaders they want because of laxity. IEBC had five years to prepare for his elections, I wonder what is causing all these hitches,” said Nassir.
In Nyali and Kisauni constituencies, voting started on time despite hitch KIEMS kits.
Kisauni Constituency Returning Officer, Ibrahim Wario and his Nyali counterpart, John Ole Taiswa said polling stations opened in most of polling stations amid teething issues related to voting identification gadgets.
A spot check by Kenya News Agency confirms good voter turnout in the county.
“We have opened all polling stations and voting has started despite a few teething issues which we are addressing,” said Wario.
Kisauni constituency has 135,276 registered voters with 217 polling stations including three prisons.
The constituency has attracted 8 MPs candidates and 104 MCAs in eight ward areas.
In Nyali, the returning officer, Ole Taiswa told KNA that they have deployed IT personnel to repair Kiems kit in some polling stations.
Nyali has 124,253 registered voters with 159 polling stations.
The constituency has attracted nine candidates who are eyeing to be elected for the parliamentary position with incumbent Mohamed Ali defending the seat on United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket.
The constituency has five ward areas that have attracted 76 candidates seeking to be elected as Members of County Assembly (MCAs).
Kadzandani ward has attracted 18 candidates, Ziwani la Ng’ombe 17 aspirants, Mkomani and Kongowea has each 14 candidates while Freetown has 13.
Meanwhile, outgoing Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho voted at Uwanja wa mbuzi polling station, shortly after 8:30 am.
Joho said he was impressed with how voters turned out and appealed to others at home to follow suit in expressing their constitutional rights.
“The only issue is the kiems kit but the electoral agency has assured us they will compensate for the delay opening of polling stations in areas like Mvita and others,” he added.
The ODM deputy party leader further told reporters that they expect a landslide victory in key elective positions in the county.
Incumbent Nyali MP Mohamed Ali who cast his vote at Khadija primary school polling station exuded confidence of retaining the seat.
He however alleged widespread cases of voter bribery.
There was a standoff at Kongowea primary school with police deployed to arrest the situation.
Unconfirmed report indicated that a violent gang blocked the entrance to the polling station profiling voters of a certain ethnic community.
Mombasa county police commander Stephen Matu, Nyali sub-county commander Daniel Masaba and IEBC county returning officer Swalha Yusuf Ibrahim arrived at the police station.
His key rival Said Abdallah who voted at Kongowea social hall said his delighted with the turn out.
“The only issue is kiems kit delays. However, we are happy with our people coming out to vote. We call those who are at home,” he added.
The outgoing Kisauni MP Ali Mbogo and his predecessor Rashid Bezimba voted at Baptist primary school and Kisauni water polling stations respectively.
At Darulum secondary school polling station in Likoni constituency voters were on the queue by earliest 4am in the morning. Voting started on time.
At Shikadabu primary school in Likoni constituency voters complained of poor arrangement of names where their names were not traceable in the list of voters attached outside the polling stations.
Voters asked IEBC officials to use the old system where voters were guided on where to vote and which line to queue by the first alphabet of their first name.
Most voters could not know which line to queue which in turn led to disappointment with some going back home.
Addressing the media, United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Member of National Assembly aspirant for Likoni Constituency, Mohammed Mwahima, urged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to intervene and correct the confusion so that voters won’t be demoralized and go back home.
“We are impressed with the good voter turnout despite the bad weather. We however are disappointed with how the commission arranged the names without putting in consideration the fact that some voters cannot read,” said Mwahima.
By Chari Suche and Galgalo Bocha