Police and IEBC officials in Kitui west have stepped up patrols in Mutonguni ward after it emerged that some candidates were involved in illegal vote buying.
On Tuesday night, a Wiper lady operative identified as Nzambi Vundi alias Wamisanzi was busted by youths buying votes at Sh500 at Kitamwiki market.
Wamisanzi who is believed to be acting on behalf of Wiper party candidate Stephen Kithuka fled the market in unmarked car to escape arrest by angry citizens.
Eye witnesses who busted her said she offered to “mortgage” Identity cards for few days, at a fee of 500 shillings where the IDs will be surrendered back to their owners at CDF office in Kabati.
It was a very discreet operation conducted under cover of darkness hoping to decrease rival candidate Musee Mati of Maendeleo Chap Chap.
Madam Wamisanzi is well known in the ward having sought the Wiper ticket to contest the seat in 2017 but lost to Kithuka.
IEBC Constituency Returning officer Reuben Mbuu confirmed having been notified about Wamisanzi clandestine vote buying activity saying he’s investigating the matter.
Senator Kiio Wambua was also said to be seen making suspicious rounds in the ward meeting Wiper supporters but efforts to get comments from police bosses were unsuccessful.
Mr Mbuu warned any candidates or their agents involved in election malpractice that they will be arrested and prosecuted.
The RO asked the police and residents to be more vigilant to nab anyone involved in malpractice.
Mati, the MCC candidate complained that he had credible reports of his main rival Kithuka engaging in unothrodox activities to coerce voters beyond the stipulated campaign period which elapsed on Monday.
“How many others are on the loose doing similar things? Mati posed.
Mati urged all Mutonguni residents to remain calm, respect the law by avoiding such illegal acts to protect the integrity of the election. He also asked them to report to police any suspicious person knocking their doors at night.
“There’s no room for mischievous or monkey business to circumvent the popular will of Mutonguni people. I urge all my supporters to be peaceful and law abiding” Mati told journalists in Kitui town where he spent the day.
But Kithuka denied the accusations of sending Wamisanzi or engaging in vote buying at specific Mati political strongholds.