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Voters Turned Away at Kenya Embassy

Several voters were turned away today at the Kenya High Commission in Kampala where they gathered to vote in the countrys general elections. There was tight security manned by the Uganda Police personnel. By reporting time, about ten people had been turned away after they were told they couldnt vote from Uganda since their names were reflected in Kenya.
Isaiah Kojwang, President for the Association of Kenyans in Uganda.

Audio 5

Several voters were turned away today at the Kenya High Commission in Kampala where they gathered to vote in the country's general elections.

Kenyans are voting for a president, legislators and regional government leaders with the presidential contest being seen by observers as too close to call.

Here in Uganda, Kenyan nationals gathered at their country's High Commission in Kampala to vote. Voters were seen streaming early on Tuesday at Plot 3 Upper Kololo.

On arrival, a voter was guided by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission - IEBC official at the gate to find his/her name from the displayed registers for the two polling stations.

There was tight security manned by the Uganda Police personnel. By reporting time, about ten people had been turned away after they were told they couldn't vote from Uganda since their names were reflected in Kenya.

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William Kahindi, the Deputy Returning officer for the diaspora polling station in Kampala says voting kicked off as early as 6:00am.

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Each of the two polling stations has 592 registered voters totalling to 1,184 voters in Uganda.

Some who were turned away left the commission in disarray after negotiations to cast their votes failed. Voting is strictly for those Kenyans who have passports and registered to vote from Uganda. Some of the voters who had turned up tried to negotiate with the presiding officer to allow them vote but in vain.

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More than 19.7 million Kenyan voters are expected to have participated in the exercise by 5pm when the voting ends.

Isaiah Kojwang, director Sales and Marketing at Holiday Express Hotel, says that Kenyans in Uganda are excited to take part in the voting process. He says that the elections are extremely competitive.

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Kojwang, who is also President for the Association of Kenyans in Uganda, says that majority of Kenyans have gone back home to vote justifying the less number of voters at the Kampala High Commission. He notes that voting process is has been smooth and fast due to the Integrated Electoral Management System.

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Eight candidates are in the race, but the competition is between President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party of Kenya and four-time presidential candidate Raila Odinga of National Super Alliance.

Uhuru, a leading candidate in the race, called for unity earlier today, saying he would accept the outcome of the vote result. He urged his rivals, including opposition leader Raila Odinga, to do the same for Kenya to "move forward as one nation".

This is the second Kenyatta and Odinga are meeting after their 2012 contest whose outcome the later rejected until the Supreme Court decided Kenyatta had won the elections.

Both candidates are sure they will win Tuesday's general election.

 

Shortly after voting at Mutumo Primary School in Gatundu after 11.30am, President Kenyatta told reporters he felt positive because of what he called a positive campaign.

 

He asked Kenyans to vote peacefully and return home as they await results.

 

"Peace. Peace. Peace. I say peace because Kenya was here before and it will be here after today," he added.

 

He was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and two of their three children.

 

At 11:50am, Raila cast his vote at Old Kibera Primary School accompanied by his wife Ida.

 

"We are confident of victory, continue mobilising people to come out and vote, this victory is ours," he told his supporters.

  

The final week of campaigning has been marred by incidents of violence, including the kidnapping and murder of a top electoral commission official, Christopher Msando.  This has put the country on tension, fearing a repeat of the 2008 violence that left 1500 people dead and more than 600,000 others displaced.

Voters are to elect the President and his deputy, members of Parliament for the Senate and National Assembly and devolved government members including county governors and ward representatives.

The high commission in Kampala is part of the five countries including Burundi, South Africa, Rwanda and Tanzania where Kenyans will be allowed to vote. Unlike millions inside Kenya, the diaspora voters will only vote in the presidential elections.

Other candidates include Ekuru Aukot of Third way alliance Kenya, Dida Abduba of Alliance of Real Change, Cyrus Jirogo of United Democratic Party, and independent candidates Micheal Mwaura, Japheth Kaluyu and Joseph Nyagah.