More Drama:Mutula Kilonzo Jnr’s name missing on ballot

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Electoral commission bosses on Monday held a crisis meeting to discuss how to reprint fresh ballot papers after a UK firm printed the documents without the name of Makueni Wiper Democratic Party candidate Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had ordered over 300,000 ballot papers from Smith & Ouzman, which were expected in Nairobi on Monday.

Last evening the IEBC chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan confirmed that the commission had ordered the ballot papers printed even as a court case against lawyer Kethi Kilonzo progressed in court.

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It appeared the commission did not expect the court ruling that forced them to allow Wiper to replace Ms Kilonzo after she was disqualified from the race over the legal status of her registration.

“Yes we had ordered for the printing of ballot papers from Smith and Ouzman in readiness for the Friday’s elections, but we are meeting now to see how to deal with this matter following the latest development,” Mr Hassan said.

The printed ballot papers that were expected only captured four candidates including John Harun Mwau of the Party of Independent Candidates of Kenya (Pick), Philip Kaloki of  the National Rainbow Coalition (Narc), Jane Kitundu of Labour Party of Kenya (LPK) and Urbanus Muthoka (Independent). The commission was on Monday night expected to make fresh orders to accommodate Mutula Junior’s name in what could cost the IEBC millions of shillings.

“We are working on this matter and we know we will quickly resolve it. Everything will be alright,” IEBC chief executive James Oswago said.

The reprinted ballot papers are expected in the country on Wednesday, but there were fears the hitch could occasion logistical challenges to the elections widely watched by Kenyans after the controversial March 4 presidential elections that were challenged at the Supreme Court.

Makueni voters are expected to elect a new senator on Friday to replace Mutula Kilonzo, who died on April 27.

On Monday, the commission said that Safaricom had agreed to transmit results of the Makueni by-elections.

The mobile phone firm had initially refused to transmit the results electronically.

Safaricom pulled out of the deal with the commission as it did not have confidence in the level of preparedness of the agency.

As preparations for the by-elections continued, detectives are expected to fly out this week to three foreign countries in their bid to find out the roles played by suppliers of electronic kits, which failed during the last elections.

Sources at the EACC said the team, which is investigating the failure of the electronic voter identification devices (Evids) and the biometric voter registration (BVR) kits is to fly to Canada, France and the United Kingdom, where suppliers of the equipment and a credit line provider are based.-nation.co.ke

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