Frenzied campaigns, but where are the voters?

January 25, 2017 1:18 pm
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Since the MVR was announced about two weeks ago, politicians across the political divide have been involved in endless campaign rallies across the country with one common agenda – to ask people to register/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – With three weeks to go before the last phase of the Mass Voter Registration (MVR) exercise comes to a close, almost all mapped out eight regions across the country are lagging behind in reaching targets set by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

IEBC expects to list 6,117,280 (67 percent) voters out of the 9,130,269 Kenyans with Identity Cards who are not listed as voters.

Looking at registration of potential voters per region in the first seven days, most areas are still struggling to meet the weekly targets that will translate to 67 percent of the nine million Kenyans targeted.

Even as politicians criss-cross the county to county hunting for voters, their calls to woo Kenyans to register are yet to translate to results.

Since the MVR was announced about two weeks ago, politicians across the political divide have been involved in endless campaign rallies across the country with one common agenda – to ask people to register.

Looking at registration of potential voters per region in the first seven days, most areas are still struggling to meet the weekly targets that will translate to 67 percent of the nine million Kenyans targeted/FILE

But the numbers released by IEBC after the first week of registration indicated that the country has a long way to go to reach out to unregistered voters.

North Eastern region which comprises Mandera, Wajir and Garissa recorded the highest registration turnout in the first week of MVR at 92 percent.

It is one of the regions affected by perennial insecurity.

It is estimated that 166,983 people have Identity Cards but are not registered as voters in North Eastern region.

For IEBC to reach 67 percent of those not registered, a weekly target of 26,105 has to be met in the region. In the first week, the region listed 24,006 new voters.

The second area to record a high registration turnout during the first seven days of MVR was Central region which consists of Kiambu, Muranga, Kirinyaga, Nyeri and Nyandarua.

The region still has a long way to go to reach out to the 1,025,294 people with Identity Cards but are not registered.

To meet the target of listing 67 percent of them, 160,288 voters have to register every week. In the first week only 139,876 registered at 87 percent turnout.

Rift Valley which is an important region for vote hunting due to its diversity and concentration of voters has 14 counties.

They include Bomet, Kericho, Kajiado, Narok, Nakuru, Laikipia, Baringo, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, Samburu, West Pokot and Turkana.

IEBC has indicated that 1,804,376 people have Identity Cards but are not registered voters. To reach out to 67 percent of them, the commission put a weekly target of 282,084 yet in week one only 169,371 (60 percent) registered.

To meet the target of listing 67 percent of them, 160,288 voters have to register every week. In the first week only 139,876 registered at 87 percent turnout/FILE

Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu and Taita Taveta Counties in Coastal Region have 1,047,831 potential voters and to reach out to 67 percent 163, 811 of them have to be registered weekly. During the first seven days, only 95,681 registered.

For the Eastern Region, that is Makueni, Machakos, Kitui, Embu, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Isiolo and Marsabit IEBC is targeting at registering 67 percent of the 1,426,455 people with Identity Cards but not registered. For that target to be met 223,003 voters have to register every week. By the first week, there were 127,580 voters listed.

Nairobi City has 1,843,040 potential voters and for 67 percent of them to be reached, 199,624 people have to register every week. The turnout during the first week was already below average with only 95,966 voters registering.

Nyanza has 1,274,894 potential voters not listed as voters. To get 67 percent of them to register as voters, at least 199,308 people have to register every week of the MVR. In the first seven days only 95,945 registered.

Busia, Bungoma, Vihiga and Kakamega Counties in Western region have 1,107, 524 unregistered voters which will require weekly registrations of 173,143 to meet the IEBC target of registering 67 percent of them.

In the first week only 75,183 registered as voters.

READ: Central, Northeastern top as over 800,000 voters listed so far

At the end of week one, IEBC failed to meet its target of 1.4 million voters with a shortfall of 574,855 voters.

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