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ODM primaries in Mombasa marred with chaos

  • ODM opted to carry out nominations for the Member of County Assembly (MCA) aspirants only in Mombasa and Kilifi Counties.
  • The party’s National Election Board (NEB) said some tickets for Governor, Senate, and MPs positions will be given out through a consensus.

The party nominations started late in all the six constituencies of Mombasa; Kisauni, Nyali, Jomvu, Chnagamwe, Mvita, and Likoni. Some polling stations; Kipevu in Changamwe, Mombasa Primary in Mvita, Mkomani in Nyali, and Likoni Primary in the Likoni constituency witnessed chaos as voters became impatient with the digital voting system.

At Mombasa Primary School, police officers had to be called in to calm the crowd that was becoming uncontrollable and rowdy.

Officers from the General Service Unit (GSU), Administration Police, and Kenya Police officers, both in uniform and civilian, were deployed to quell the chaos.

Maimuna Ramadhan, an Old Town resident, alleged that they were witnessing a number of voters imported from other regions to come and vote in the Old Town area.

“We are seeing faces that we have never seen before. We do not want chaos, we want peace,” she said.

Abdirahman Hussein, who is one of the aspirants eyeing the ODM ticket in the Old Town ward, called on the ODM national election board to disqualify candidates who caused violence during the nominations.

Hussein said that such candidates were tainting the party's image.

"We cannot allow hooliganism in the party. NEB should disqualify such candidates who are out to spoil the party's good image," he said.

He alleged that his opponents disrupted voting in two polling stations, forcing the police to intervene and secure the Mombasa Primary Center before the goons arrive to disrupt voting.

"As we speak now nothing is going on in Allidina Secondary School and Kadherbouy on Makadara grounds. We had to call the police here before they arrived,” he said.

Voting at Mombasa Primary began at 11 am.

Alamin Salim, a presiding officer at Mombasa Primary School, urged the ODM members to be calm as they were working out to streamline the system. He said they received the voting gadget late.

“Everyone who is a voter in Old Town will vote. If you are an outsider, your name will not be found in the voting kit,” he said.

At Kipevu Primary School in Changamwe, Shila Ndanu said they witnessed chaos in the morning.

“The young people are being used to cause chaos. They have beaten women who were patiently waiting to vote. We condemn such acts,” she said.

At Tononoka Hall in Mvita, the polls went on peacefully.

Mombasa businessman Suleiman Shahbal, who is eyeing the ODM ticket for the governor race, said the polls were peaceful across the county.

Shahbal is battling with Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir for the ODM ticket.

“I do not know why we cannot have nominations for the rank of governor and senator. Nominations have been very peaceful, save for a few hitches on technicalities. Mombasa residents have conducted themselves in an orderly manner, therefore we should also have primaries for governor and senator seats,” he said.

Hisham Mwidau, who is eyeing the senate on an ODM ticket, said few individuals in Nairobi should not be allowed to make decisions on behalf of Mombasa residents.

“It does not make any sense for a few people to decide for 225,000 ODM members in Mombasa. They want to handpick ODM candidates. This is not democracy. We want our people to be allowed to vote,” he said.

He said the Nairobi office does not understand the voting dynamics in Mombasa.

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