Polling stations close as low voter turnout defines Machakos Senatorial by-election
Published on: March 18, 2021 05:24 (EAT)
Slow voter turnout has defined the Machakos Senatorial by-election for the better part of the day with various leaders calling on voters to report to their polling stations before the exercise closed at 5pm. Poll officials remained largely idle with most polling stations reporting a turnout of less than 15 percent by 1pm. Wiper Party candidate Agnes Kavindu earlier claimed that there were attempts of voter bribery, allegations that could not be confirmed. “At the end of the day we will know how the turnout has been. Iko majaribio ya bribery but hawataweza. Everybody is alert,” said Kavindu. Speaking earlier in the day Machakos Governor and Maendeleo Chap Chap party leader Alfred Mutua also came out to urge voters to turn out and vote. “At this time even as we vote I am asking our people wherever you are to come out and vote. When you vote you select the person you are also making a choice against the person you don’t want,” said the Mutua. At the same time the UDA party candidate Urbanus Ngengele also alluded to attempts of voter bribery. “Hatutaki mambo ya vita ama hii maneno ingine ya kununua kura tumeskia iko mahali watu wanapewa pesa,” he said. The Machakos Senatorial by-election attracted 11 candidates including three independent ones. Agnes Kavindu of Wiper and UDA’s Urbanus Ngengele were seen as front-runners alongside John Mutua Katuku of MAendeleo Chap Chap who withdrew from the race. Machakos county has over 620 thousand voters, split across 1,335 polling stations. The Machakos Senate seat fell vacant following the death of Boniface Kabaka in December 2020.