NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 16 – The one month countrywide Mass Voter Registration kicked off Monday with the independent electoral and boundaries commission targeting to register 6 million new voters within the one month period. On the first day however UPESI NEWS has established that there was low turn out of people who visited registration centers to gt registered.In Kisii for instance there were cases of breakdown of BVR kits or totally failing due to power problems.However the exercise went on well in all other counties across the country.
Speaking during the launch of the exercise in Nairobi region at the event held at the KICC in Nairobi various officials from IEBC have assured the nation that the commission is well prepared to handle the exercise.
ODM leader Raila Odinga urged kenyans to come out in large numbers and register as voters adding that this is the time to put aside bi partisan politics and unite to vote as one nation.Odinga also urged the IEBC to ensure that its officials on the ground adhere to established rules and regulations.
He warned of among others closing early or opening the registration stations late saying such moves risks disenfranchising many people;e who would otherwise want to register.
The CORD leader also warned politicians against transferring of voters to other places rather than where they have registered as voters or where they voted in the 2013 general elections. He says that could easily jeopardize administration or ability to lead to leader should they be voted in with people who do not belong to a certain region.
Odinga also urged the police not to intimidate people going to register and instead offer protection to all.He further called upon the officers in charge of register of persons to ensure that anybody eligible to getting a national identity card is issued with the document so as to enable them register as voters.
Odinga’s sentiments were echoed by Nairobi governor Evans Kidero who urged kenyans and especially Nairobi residents to come out and register as voters.He also discouraged attempts by politicians to transfer voters from other stations to register in a particular center,Kidero says this will interfere with quality of leadership service. He also urged the Independent electoral and boundaries commission to ensure enough BVR kits are supplied throughout the country .
The government spokes person Eric Kiraithe has assured the country that the government has put in necessary measures to ensure security is guaranteed during the period.Kiraithe who was speaking at the KICC also urged Kenyans to come out in large numbers to register as voters saying that it was the only way they could choose leaders whom they prefer.
This will be the last registration exercise before the General Election on August 8, 2017.
IEBC has encouraged Kenyans wishing to change their voters registration details or make transfer requests to do so at the commission’s constituency offices.
Speaking ahead of the launch, IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba said the move is aimed at freeing up the 24,613 registration centres to new applicants.
Chiloba further assured Kenyans that Biometric Voter Registration kits will be distributed equitably and used diligently as the commission rolls out the month-long registration drive.
The commission is targeting to register six million new voters during the exercise.
An estimated 7,793 Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits will be positioned at the County Assembly Ward level in the entire country.