NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – A preliminary report by the Elections Observation Group (ELOG) Kenya on the ongoing Mass Voter Registration (MVR) shows a significant level of incidences of intimidation, tension, violence, bribery and insecurity.
The report released Friday revealed that 11 percent of the 70 constituencies monitored over the past two weeks recorded cases of intimidation, tension, violence, bribery and insecurity with Nairobi, Homa Bay and Migori counties featuring prominently.
“A curious case of dishing money to voters once they had registered was observed in Homa Bay County. In Migori County, our observers reported cases where members of a certain boda boda group were kicked out for not registering as voters,” the report noted.
In Nairobi West Chief’s Camp registration centre in Lang’ata Constituency, observers noted inducement of voters to transfer their votes creating tension in the area, ELOG said.
According to Anderson Gitonga, a member of ELOG Kenya’s Steering Committee and Chief Executive Officer of United Disabled Persons of Kenya, two percent of voter listing centers are not accessible to disabled with three percent of centers said to be non-conducive for the exercise.
“98 percent of registration center were easily accessible to people with disabilities. However two per cent did not meet the threshold,” he said.
ELOG called upon the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to put measures in place to cater for Kenyans who turn up to register as voters as the MVR comes to an end.
The group’s Chairperson Regina Opondo said the electoral commission needed to prepare for an upsurge in the number of people turning up at registration centers to avoid a crisis.
“In the next four days there might be very little we can do other than putting more efforts in the work,” she said.
“What we have recommended is that they (IEBC) should be ready for this numbers which means the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits should have enough batteries, and IEBC should have enough staff and put adequate security measures.”
Her sentiments were supported by Jephthah Gathaga, a member of the group’s steering committee who said IEBC officers could be overwhelmed with the huge number of people turning out to register in the final days of voter listing if care is not taken.
“Being historically aware that Kenyans have a peculiar habit of rushing in at the last moment, ELOG urges IEBC to put up mechanism that will ensure all eligible voter who turn up to register in the last minute are not disenfranchised,” he said.
The voter enrollment exercise comes to an end on February 14.