Several officials affiliated with the ODM and UDA parties have been arrested in the ongoing Bonchari by-election.
In separate statements released on Tuesday afternoon, the parties protested the arrests accusing police of intimidation.
According to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party, its Youth League President John Ketora and Director of Youth Affairs Benson Musungu are among four members arrested on “flimsy grounds”.
The party said the Youth League officials were arrested as they were headed to Suneka Baraza Hall Polling Station to deliver food to our party agents.
The four are currently being held at Central Police Station in Kisii.
“The arresting officers, close to 50 roughed them up and took their personal belongings and phones,” the party said further alleging rigging of the by-election.
The arrested Youth League officials were arrested as they were headed to Suneka Baraza Hall Polling Station to deliver food to our party agents. The arresting officers, close to 50 roughed them up and took their personal belongings and phones #OimekeThePeoplesChoice
— The ODM Party (@TheODMparty) May 18, 2021
We are aware that two ballot boxes stuffed with ballot papers have been delivered at the residence of area Chief Madam Truphosa, 100 metres from the Entange Polling Stations awaiting to be ferried there. If @IEBCKenya will not act, we shall invite our supporters to act.
— The ODM Party (@TheODMparty) May 18, 2021Loading...
On the other hand, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) said that two of its poll agents in the constituency were allegedly wrongfully arrested as they prepared to oversee the voting exercise.
“Erick Ntabo our chief agent in Bonchari constituency By-election, was arrested by police officers and taken to Gesonso police station. He is yet to be released,” the party said.
“Another agent Collins Mokua was wrongfully arrested and released.”
The party had earlier announced the arrest of two other agents in the ongoing elections in Rurii wards, Nyandarua County.
“In both areas, the harassment started last evening and was continued this morning in most parts. In Rurii Ward UDA agents were arrested and held for the better part of the morning. The agents had been assigned to Huho-ini, Rurii Polytechnic and Pasenga polling stations,” UDA Secretary-General Veronica Maina said in a statement.
She noted that police have mounted unnecessary roadblocks across the Ward all aimed at intimidating voters.
The party is now asking the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to condemn the acts.
“We urge IEBC to take note of these intimidations and condemn them for what they are; abuse of power by the Executive. We urge voters in Rurii ward not to be intimidated and come out in large numbers to vote and safeguard our democracy,” the party said.
The contest has attracted 13 individuals including Pavel Oimeke of ODM, Margaret Nyabuto of Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC), Teresa Bitutu (UDA) and Zebedeo John Opore (Jubilee) among others.