By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has suspended gubernatorial and National Assembly elections in four areas.
The affected counties are Mombasa and Kakamega where the exercise has been pushed indefinitely after it emerged that the ballot papers had the wrong pictures and details of the candidate.
The same error was detected in Pokot South and Kacheliba constituencies where residents will have to wait longer to pick their members of parliament.
Making the announcement, Monday evening, IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati downplayed the last-minute hitches that have left the voters disappointed at the same time warning against politicizing the issue.
Chebukati appealed for calm assuring the residents that new dates when the elections will be conducted shall be communicated vide a Gazette Notice as soon as possible.
He said the new development should not be used to cast aspersions on the IEBC preparedness indicating that the Greece-based printing firm had taken responsibility for the mistakes.
“No politics is involved. We do election management. We will ensure voters in those areas elect leaders of their choice as soon as possible and the candidates will be the same. The order for the ballot papers went in late, the printer will shoulder the cost. We are committed to delivering a free and fair election. In every operation, it is normal to have hitches, and human errors occur,” he told journalists.
The chairman also said the commission had rerouted ballot papers which had mistakenly been taken to the wrong stations.
Ballot papers pallets for County Assembly Ward belonging to Fafi Constituency were erroneously sent to Chuka Igamba Ng’ombe in Tharaka Nithi County for Mua in Machakos County to Kuresoi Constituency Nakuru County while for Tiaty County Woman Member of National Assembly in Baringo County were sent to Lamu County.
“The Commission has since rerouted the ballot paper pellets to their rightful places using air transport contracted to facilitate such emergencies,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Commission has set up a fully-fledged call centre where poll officials and the general public can call a toll-free number to make inquiries or report incidences related to the 2022 General Elections.
Kenyans will today elect new leaders in various positions including the President, Governor, Senator, MP, Woman Representative and Member of County Assembly (MCA).
A majority of counties have received election materials for the respective positions ahead of the polls.