NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 16 – People continued to trickle to voter registration centres on Sunday in a bid to beat the December 18 deadline set by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissions.
At the Moi Avenue Primary registration centre in Nairobi, a few of those who spoke to Capital FM News expressed their desire to elect leaders who will bring change to the country.
“First and foremost, everyone should register and we should not wait until the last minute. Unfortunately we are known for that,” stated one voter.
“We have just two days before the close of the exercise and it behoves every Kenyan to take the initiative and register so that you can take part in moulding the future of the country,” another voter one said.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) head clerk at the centre Evans Otieno urged everybody to take advantage of the remaining two days to register.
“We need to make sure that our next generation is in safe hands. It is one of your fundamental rights so even if you do not want to do it for yourself, do it for the next generation,” he said.
The IEBC chairman Issack Hassan has ruled out an extension of the voter registration exercise once the deadline expires.
Hassan is also adamant that the commission will not be threatened by any court action seeking to compel it to extend the time for registration.
At the coastal region, the commission said there had been a steady rise of voter registration ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.
A commissioner with IEBC Mohamed Alawi said already 550,000 people had registered as voters in Taita Taveta, Kwale and Mombasa counties.
He indicated that the commission intends to register 800,000 people in said regions before the deadline.
Alawi further urged those who have not registered to make sure they have registered before the deadline as no extension will be allowed.
He also pointed out that earlier threats by the Mombasa Republican Council had not affected the registration in the region.
The commission has rejected the use of ID waiting cards to register voters arguing that it risks denting the credibility of the voters’ roll.
The National Civil Society Congress has however sought an explanation on the IEBC’s objections over the use of ID waiting cards to register eligible voters.
Speaking during at press conference, the society’s president Morris Odhiambo however took issue with the statement saying other than being unsatisfactory, it sought to lock out eligible Kenyans out of the voter registration exercise.
“The issue was to me straight forward that you would use your waiting card to register and your ID to vote. That was a very reasonable way of doing things and I think there are many players who are trying to help IEBC to get as many Kenyans to register,” he said.
IEBC had stated that waiting slips do not bear any serial numbers or photographs of the ID holder, creating room for double registration.
“The IEBC has not really explained why it is opposed in principal to that idea. If they had said perhaps that it could be used as an avenue to register fake voters, then we would understand… if it could be used to manipulate the registration process, then we would understand but they have not explained themselves well enough.”