, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 3 – As the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission prepares to launch a mass voter registration drive in a week’s time, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho on Wednesday announced that there are a total of 375,963 uncollected identity cards countrywide.
Kibicho who on Tuesday invited those who’ve been waiting for IDs since before December to get in touch with him, said they should first check with the centres they applied at.
The Rift Valley region has the highest number of uncollected cards at 81,243 followed by Central which has 54,697 uncollected cards.
Nairobi has 45,083 uncollected cards while Nyanza has 44,699. Eastern has 32,334 uncollected cards while the Coast and Western regions have a total of 27,469 and 22,732 uncollected cards respectively.
The North Eastern region has a significantly lower number of uncollected identity cards at 7,141 while those that remain uncollected at Huduma Centres are 57,583.
The question of identity cards has gained traction ahead of the 2017 general election for which the IEBC plans to register eight million more voters; up from the current 14 million registered.
It therefore planned a massive voter registration drive for February and March this year.
IEBC Chairman Issack Hassan however identified a funding shortfall as the biggest obstacle to meeting their goal. “The Commission presented its budget to the National Treasury for all electoral activities up to 2017. Out of the budget of Sh2 billion for the comprehensive mass voter registration, the commission received only Sh500 million,” he said in December.
He said a campaign is necessitated by the low number of persons who, on gaining the age of majority, have registered as voters since the last general election in 2013. “The post-2013 continuous voter registration has been slow and uninspiring. Only 106,601 new voters have registered as of June 2015.”
The IEBC target of 22 million registered voters, Hassan said, is informed by the fact that the National Registration Bureau had issued a total of 23.8 million ID cards as of December 2014.
The Orange Democratic Movement in June last year, in preparation for the 2017 general election, launched the Tokelezea initiative to encourage its qualified supporters to apply for ID cards in readiness for voter registration.
Prior to the 2013 general election, political scientist Mutahi Ngunyi argued that the Jubilee Coalition won at the voter registration stage; popularising the ‘tyranny of numbers,” phrase.