KNA Voting in the Kiambaa Constituency kicked-off promptly at 6.00 am, today as residents headed to the polls to choose their Legislator in the hotly contested race.
A spot check on some polling stations, revealed that, the voter turnout was impressive, a rare occurrence for a by-elections in the country.
Voters were already in queues outside Karuri High School even before 6.oo am which is the official time for opening the polling stations.
“The station opened at 6.00 am and everything has been running smoothly since,” Hellen Njue, a Presiding Officer at one of the streams at Karuri High school told KNA, during the exercise which has been of national interest.
Security was also tight as Police Officers stood guard at the various Polling Centers and the Tallying Center at Karuri Secondary School.
Law enforcement agents were also seen patrolling the streets of Banana town, ensuring that there was no breach of peace.
Stakeholders such as voters and observers also expressed satisfaction with the electoral process, lauding the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for their management of the exercise.
“The turnout is steady as the queues haven’t stopped and the process has been generally peaceful, ” Anthony Blaze, an Observer from the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya said.
He further urged the residents of Kiambaa to remain peaceful no matter the outcome.
Mr. Blaze also appealed to the political leaders to tone down campaigns during the period and preach peace for the sake of posterity.
Voters, sharing his sentiments also urged that people stay calm to ensure that there is calm even after the election period is over so that they can resume their social-economic activities.
“We ask that politicians desist from uttering divisive remarks because normally, it leads to violence,” George Kamau, a voter at the Karuri Polling Station said.
He asked fellow voters to make independent and informed wise choices and not allow themselves to be influenced.
“We, the citizens, choose our leaders and we should choose the right leaders and not the popular leaders,” he said.
The voters expressed confidence in the IEBC, saying that they had an easy time accessing the polling stations and exercising their civic duty of choosing their Member of Parliament.
“The process is very easy, I was in and out within a very short time,” Loise Mwangi, a voter registered at the Karuri High School Polling Station, told KNA.
She called on those still holed up in their other businesses to go and cast their votes before it was too late so that they do not rush at the last minute.
Kiambaa’s seat fell vacant following the death of the then MP the late Paul Koinange who was reported to have died of Covid-19.