Former Kisumu Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga was forced to flee from Urudi Primary School in Nyakach Constituency after chaos erupted at the polling station during the Orange Democratic Movement primaries on Tuesday.

Ms Odinga had gone to the polling station to verify claims that an unidentified person was carrying out a parallel voting exercise at the polling station.

But as she left the polling station, some youths confronted each other, forcing the police to fire in the air several times to disperse the rowdy crowd.

“I had been told that someone was carrying out a parallel exercise at Urudi Primary. When I went to find out, he told me that he was one of the polling clerks,” said Ms Odinga.

She added: “While I was leaving the station, there was some commotion that later turned into chaos moments after I had left.”

Bribing voters
The situation escalated further after a man, who was accused of bribing voters at the station, was beaten up by youths.

The voting process was stopped for a few minutes before more police officers were called to quell the tension.

The suspect was injured as police fired in the air a number of times to disperse rowdy voters who wanted to attack him. The man was accused of keying in votes in favour of specific candidates.

The victim accused the police of not doing anything as he was attacked by two armed men.

“The police officers did nothing as I was attacked by knife-wielding men,” said the man.

Voting later continued smoothly.

Earlier, aspirants such as Engineer Vincent Kodera had raised concerns over rigging at the polling station.

ODM party officials
He claimed some young men, who were claiming to be ODM party officials, had been posted to the stations as observers.

“We have seen some young men with sophisticated machines here. They are claiming to be observers sent by the party, this is creating anxiety among voters and aspirants,” said Mr Kodera.

At around 2pm, chaos also erupted at Wenwa Primary School, after a police officer threw a tear gas canister at the polling station, forcing voters to scamper for safety.

It was not immediately established why the officers reacted in that manner. Locals claimed one of the aspirants for the Nyakach Parliamentary seat was using the police to create tension among voters in order to disrupt the exercise.

Courtesy Nation Africa

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