Kenya's grueling campaign and the final election exercise will produce 2,000 leaders, as opposed to about 360,000 leaders for Tanzania and about 1.5 million in Uganda.
Presidential candidate George Wajakoya accused his rivals of sabotage after he failed to get his biometric data recognized by the machines at his polling station.
Prof. Wajakoya of Roots Party however urged his supporters and all Kenyans to stay calm after the kits (Kenya Integrated Election Management System) failed to read his data at Idangalasia Primary School Matungu, Kakamega.
The same hiccups were encountered by several voters including William Ruto’s running mate Rigathi Gachagua, who had attempted to be the first to cast the vote at his polling station. Gachagua was seen vigorously rubbing his hands in his hair, wiping them as he attempted several times to have the machines read his fingers. He finally voted at 7.39 am, with some angry voters saying he was allowed to vote manually.
Prof Wajakoya wondered why the elections should go on and be termed ‘presidential elections when he has not voted, adding that such hiccups and other incidents were in his strongholds.
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He later returned and was allowed to cast his vote manually. ODM President and Candidate for Azimio la Umoja, Raila Odinga blamed the challenges being faced on failure by the authorities to heed his advice of using both the manual and electronic voting systems.
Speaking at his home in Kibera, Nairobi, Odinga said he believed they had done a great job during the campaigns and were just awaiting the people’s verdict.
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All the other candidates as well as outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta cast their ballots without a hitch. President Kenyatta appealed to Kenyans to maintain peace during and after the exercise.
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Earlier, information circulated fast on social media claiming that Kenyans voting in Australia had ended the exercise and the results showed Ruto overwhelmingly leading. However, these turned out to be false, as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission explained that Australia was not among the countries where the Diaspora were voting.
Ruto himself urged all political players in Kenya to respect everybody’s decision and allow Kenyans to choose their next leaders without coercion.
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After casting his vote at Upper Hill Secondary School in Nairobi, Mwaure Waihiga called it an experience of his time and hoped Kenyans give him the chance to implement his manifesto. He continued to call on those undecided about whether to vote or not to check out pictures on social media where he is praying for the country and the voters, saying they could change their minds at the last minute and vote for him.
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Meanwhile, the IEBC is happy with the turnout saying the voters have heeded the call to turn out in large numbers to vote across the country. "Polling stations across the country opened up at 6 am, every Vote counts.”
There were also cases of a mix-up in ballots with some areas receiving ballots meant for other areas, while others had pictures of people who had not participated in the nominations and campaigns for positions of governors.
“The elections for Gubernatorial elective position in Kakamega and Mombasa Counties; and for the Member of National Assembly for Kacheliba and Pokot South Constituencies, are postponed to a later date to be announced through a gazette notice,” said the IEBC.