NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 16 – The government says adequate security will be provided to ensure the second round of the countrywide voter registration proceeds smoothly.
Speaking during launch of the Mass Voter Registration at the Kenyatta international Convention Centre (KICC), Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe stated that police officers will be stationed in all centres to ensure the process goes on smoothly.
He however urged all leaders and the public to play their role by being responsible.
“I would want to lay a certain emphasis on security. The police officers we have in this country, every security person of any description will be mobilised to support the process,” he said.
“But you as the representatives of the people, you as a citizen should commit to ensure that nobody blocks anybody from going to register, nobody applies violence, nobody applies intimidation of any kind or description.”
While stating that there will be no interference whatsoever by the government during the exercise, he encouraged all those who have not registered to do so.
“You will not protect devolution… you will not protect the money you are paying as taxes if you do not register. So by every and any means, register as a voter,” he urged.
“From the government, we would like to assure you that no effort will be spared to protect the independence of IEBC. There will be no Executive interference and we will give them every possible support,” he assured.
The month-long listing kicked off countrywide on Monday with many Kenyans coming out to register.
In Nairobi, people slowly trickled to registration centres ahead of the launch by Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero together with CORD leader Raila Odinga.
Kidero encouraged all Kenyans to come out in large numbers and register as voters as the one month exercise kicked off today countrywide.
Speaking at the KICC, the Nairobi Governor stated that this will ensue every one eligible to vote is given a chance to do register.
Kidero indicated that it will give people an opportunity to make their mark in the destiny of the country.
He said many who do not vote are young despite having weighty opinions. He says all should register and ensure they have a part in democracy.
In Kisumu, the exercise kicked off on a high note with long queues being witnessed across a number of centres.
The regional IEBC coordinator George Oyugi said they target to register 860,000 new voters during the 30-day registration.
The IEBC is targeting to register at least six million new voters during the exercise.