Former Trans Nzoia Senator Mr. Henry Ndiema and aspirant for Cherengany parliamentary seat Mr. Patrick Simiyu have called on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct voter sensitization exercise to enable the electorate familiarize with poll procedures ahead of August General Election.
The two who spoke separately in Kitale town and Kachibora market respectively after getting the Commission’s nod to run for their respective seats emphasized that it was important for voters countrywide to have sufficient knowledge about the electoral process ahead.
Ndiema who as cleared by the electoral body at around mid-day on Monday to vie for the county Senate seat lauded IEBC for being steadfast in its operations, saying the Commission had so far acted in a transparent manner.
He however challenged the electoral body to up its game more to ensure electoral malpractices witnessed in the previous general elections do not reoccur.
The former senator who unsuccessfully challenged the victory of his successor Michael Mbito in the High Court in Eldoret also called on the Judiciary to be vigilant throughout the electioneering period.
To curb voter apathy and minimize cases of spoilt votes, Ndiema called on the IEBC to embark on mass voter education exercise and ensure all voters, especially at the grassroot are reached.
“The journey has been long and I so far thank the IEBC officials for the commendable conduct so far displayed as they manage election operations. However, it is my appeal that they try even harder to ensure they restore confidence in the voters by operating within the guiding laws,” said Ndiema.
He called out on his supporters in Trans Nzoia to turn out enmass on August 9 to re-elect him to the Senate, promising to push for completion of stalled development projects in the county.
Ndiema claimed that most of the projects that were initiated in the first term of Governor Patrick Khaemba’s administration, a period which he served as the county Senator, stalled after he was ousted in the 2017 General Election.
Among stalled projects the former legislator vowed to fast-rack include Trans Nzoia County Teaching and Referral Hospital, which has been under construction for over eight years and Kitale Bus Park market as well as re-introduce the Mavuno subsidized fertilizers programme for farmers.
Ndiema who is seeking the Senate seat through Ford Kenya party ticket exuded confidence in reclaiming the seat he lost to Mbito who has since expressed interest for the Saboti parliamentary seat through Jubilee Party ticket.
On his part, Simiyu who unsuccessfully vied for the Cherangany seat in 2017 said he was confident to clinch the seat this time round via Democratic Alliance Party of Kenya (DAP-K).
Simiyu called on the electoral body to inform voters about the newly created polling stations across the constituencies so that voters could know exactly where they would cast ballots.
The former Trans Nzoia county Chief of Staff will be seeking to unseat the current MP Joshua Kutuny who will be defending his seat on a Jubilee party ticket.
Others in the race to unseat Kutuny are former Boston marathon champion who also served as the area MP for a single term Wesley Korir (UDA), lawyer Benson Milimo (FORD Kenya), Kipkoech Joshua (Independent) and John Njuguna (Independent).
After his clearance to vie for the seat, Simiyu pledged to exercise his campaigns with utmost decorum.
He promised to concede if fairly defeated in the contest and challenged his competitors to accept defeat in case he floored them.
Simiyu at the same time called on his supporters to refrain from any acts of violence or electoral malpractices during the campaign period and on the poll day.