, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 27 – Voter registration in Kibera, within Langata constituency will be extended by an hour daily, after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) agreed to a request by area MP Raila Odinga.
IEBC chairman Isaack Hassan said that he had agreed to the request after the Prime Minister assured him of security for IEBC staff and registration equipment.
The PM however challenged eligible voters in the area to meet their end of the bargain by turning up in large numbers.
Hassan said: “Speaking to the Prime Minister, he mentioned that a large number of voters here work and come late and he needed an extension. We have asked for security, he has guaranteed and I am sure that the people of Lang’ata can assure me that our staff will stay here safe until 7pm.”
The premier who registered at the Old Kibera Primary School Centre had sought the extension arguing that it would cater for the majority who get back home from work late.
He further renewed his call for improved turnout at the registration centres saying that the first week should have done better.
Odinga said: “I therefore want to urge Kenyans particularly the youth, to come out in big numbers and register as voters within this stipulated period. I appeal to those who have registered to be the guardians of the nation by looking out for those who have not registered and making them register.”
He assured that the government will provide enough security to ensure that the registration process goes on smoothly.
Once again, Odinga called for peace as the county prepares to go to the polls saying Kenyans had already learnt from the consequences of mismanaged elections.
He said: “We need peace in the country. An election is a competition not war, people should compete on ideologies not by waging war against their opponents.”
The PM at the same time praised some members of the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) for registering as voters, emphasising that there will no other way of getting the leadership they want except through the ballot.
On complaints that some constituencies had received very few registration kits compared to the polling stations and the expected voting population, Odinga urged the IEBC to address the concerns expeditiously saying the electoral body must battle perceptions and reality with “vigour and determination.”
“For the IEBC the watch word has to be credibility, credibility and more credibility if it is to inspire Kenyans to look forward to the coming election and to participate in it,” he added.
The IEBC chairman also called for improved turnout particularly for people with disabilities and those who had disfigured fingers as a result of jigger infestation.
Hassan reiterated that the information collected will be solely be used by the IEBC and will not even be shared with the police.
“I have seen Kenyans who have jiggers and who cannot come out and register, but we want to assure them that the system can still take your photograph and register you as voter even with disfigured fingers. I also want to assure you that our data will only be used for compilation of a voters register,” he pledged.
Odinga was registered along with his wife Ida and son Fidel.