The Federal electoral body FIEIT is investigating an incident in which the state level electoral body in Jubbaland disqualified Petroleum Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Muktar over voter bribery and disruption of voting exercise in Kismayu Saturday.
FIEIT deputy spokesperson Nafisa Santur has told Goobjoog News the polls body had received the letter from Jubbaland and is conducting investigations. “We received the letter from SIEIT Jubbaland and we are investigating the matter. We will issue our verdict once we are done,” she said.
In a four point statement, the State Indirect Electoral Implementation Team, SIEIT in Jubbaland accuses the minister of voter bribery, bribing security guards and instructing them to cause violence during the voting and ordering the guards to chase away delegates from voting centres.
It notes that on November 18, the minister booked 29 delegates in Agan Hotel in Kismayu, confiscated all their phones and ordered them to stay in the hotel until the voting day. Delegates were promised more money, the letter reads.
Our efforts to reach the minister for comment on the matter were unsuccessful.
The Abdi Ali Rage led team also alleges on the same November 18 the minister paid undisclosed amount of money to the local security forces to cause chaos during the voting and also clash with electoral officers. The team further claims the security guards went ahead to disrupt the voting exercise, confiscated ID cards of rival delegates and sent away the voters.
A source privy to the development and who was present at the polling centre has however intimated to Goobjoog News that the letter was based on score settling and that the local electoral body chair was bent on addressing a personal grudge with the minister.
“The electoral chair (Abdi Ali Rage) clearly had a personal score to settle with the minister. In fact he presented fake delegates to the polling centre. Luckily an elder for the rival candidate was there and raised issue with the identity of the delegates. That’s when the security officers intervened to settle the matter and the whole exercise had to be called off,” our source observes.
Further, the source says some of the delegates had ID cards which bore different photographs from the owner. “You have a case where the photo of another person is printed on your ID; a case of double identity.”