Tuju cautions aspirants against commenting on Jubilee Party primaries amid delays

Raphael Tuju, the Jubilee Party secretary general has warned aspirants and returning officers against issuing any statement regarding the nominations.

“The party urges all voters to adhere to the guidelines provided for by the party headquarters on the primaries,” Tuju said in a statement on Friday.

The nominations failed to kick off on time in many polling stations but Tuju said the primaries will proceed as per the party’s schedule.Supporters, who started streaming in the polling centres from as early as 3am complained of delays. Others opted to go back home. A spot check by the Star revealed that voters had queued from 3 am but ballot papers were yet to reach the polling stations by 8am.

“We have been waiting here for long and it is unfortunate that there are delays. We think we should just go home,” a voter in Kericho said.

Hordes of voters were seen stranded at various polling stations in the county following the delays that marred the first day of the polls. Jubilee has planned to hold the exercise in 21 counties on day one and will conclude the process in 23 other counties on Monday, April 24.

“I think the party was over ambitious with these primaries. There is a shortage of materials and nominations have not started,” another voter said.

“It is a disappointment. The process might not begin today.”

Jeremiah Kirui of Kericho alleged that some ballot materials had been tampered with adding that there are fears the vote has been rigged.

“Kumekuwa na wizi hapa (There is theft going on here). Voting materials are equally insufficient,” Kirui said.

He appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto to ensure party officials uphold transparency in the nominations.

“We are appealing to Uhuru and Ruto to be transparent. When they don’t play their game well, we are going back to NASA,” he added.

Voting also failed to take off in most polling stations in Uasin Gishu. Thousands of people lined up at the polling stations which were yet to be opened by Jubilee election officials by press time. Similar complaints were reported in Uasin Gishu and Murang’a amid allegations the delays are a plot to rig the polls.

Some aspirants have asked the party to postpone the nominations, citing massive irregularities. At the MV Patel polling station in Eldoret, voters complained that the delay is a tactic to disrupt the polls.

Governor Jackson Mandago and Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi demanded the cancellation of the primaries.

“Over 95 per cent of aspirants are concerned that the nominations will not be fair,” Mandago said.

“The ballot papers so far distributed are far less that the number of registered voters.”

Mandago is facing a tough challenge from his key rival Bundotich Kiprop also known as Buzeki. On Thursday, Uhuru warned against violence in the Jubilee Party primaries and ordered police to deal firmly with culprits. He said the party will not entertain such chaos and that “any acts of violence will lead to disqualification”.

“Chaos and violence that feature in primaries will not be tolerated. A culture of hooliganism will not be accepted.”

Jubilee postponed Nairobi nominations from Friday to next Monday. Secretary general Raphael Tuju said the National Executive Committee reached the decision after consultations with the board.

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