KENYA POLLS: 72-year-old dies in voting queue

Tuesday March 5 2013

By NATION TEAM

A 72-year-old woman collapsed and died while queuing to vote at a polling station in Murang’a County on Monday. Mrs Wanjiku Maina fell at the Kaganda Primary School polling centre in Kiharu constituency and died on the way to Muriranjas sub-District Hospital.
Kahuro district commissioner Fredrick Muli said she collapsed at around 9am.

Voting was otherwise smooth, with residents turning out in large numbers in most counties in central Kenya and parts of the eastern region. Security was tight and no incidents of violence were reported.

At polling stations in Kirinyaga, Isiolo and Meru counties, voting was delayed briefly after biometric voter kits failed to work.

Officials at the affected polling stations were given the go-ahead by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to resort to the manual system where books were used for verification.

Former Nyeri mayor Joseph Ndegwa Waitiki was arrested after he was found allegedly distributing campaign leaflets and goodies on Sunday evening.

He is out on bail.

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Area police chief Limbitu Kirunya said Mr Waitiki was arrested at 5.30pm in Ruringu, Nyeri town.

He will be arraigned in court on Tuesday.

“We received information that he was distributing leaflets for certain candidates long after the campaigns had closed at 6pm on Saturday,” said Mr Kirunya.

In Othaya constituency, President Kibaki voted at Munaini Primary School polling station after 11am.

He took less than 10 minutes to do so. He, however, did not address the media.

The Head of State arrived a few minutes after TNA candidate for Othaya, Ms Mary Wambui, cast her vote at the same venue.

Ms Wambui was optimistic she would be victorious.

“I am confident that I will be the next MP for Othaya and I congratulate the electoral commission for the manner in which the polls are being conducted,” she said after casting her vote.

Braved morning cold

Her rival, Mr Gichuki Mugambi (Saba Saba Asili), voted at Gichiche Primary School polling station.

In Kieni constituency, voters started arriving at polling stations as early as 4am.

They braved the morning cold, waiting for the stations to be opened at 6am.

Long queues snaked to polling stations across the constituency.

“We arrived at the polling station at 2am to prepare the centre and we were shocked when we saw voters start arriving at 4am,” said Mr Duncan Njuguna, the presiding officer at Chaka Primary School polling station.

In Tharaka-Nithi County, voting at most stations started at 6am. Most voters had arrived at the polling stations by 5am, hoping to cast their votes early and get back to their farms and businesses.

Reported by Patrick Nzioka, Samuel Karanja, Charles Wanyoro, Eric Mutai, Dickson Mwiti, George Munene and Lucas Barasa

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