NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 9 – The National Committee on Citizen Participation in Security also known as the Nyumba Kumi initiative is now appealing to committees across the country to mobilize their members to register as voters as the Mass Voter Registration (MVR) exercise nears the end.
In a press briefing on Thursday, Chairperson Joseph Kaguthi said leaders of the 292,070 committees spread across the nation should take a keen interest in the registration so that their members can have a say on the leaders who will manage their affairs.
“We’re recommending that chairpersons and secretaries of Nyumba Kumi clusters existing should provide leadership on voter registration,” he said.
According to Kaguthi, the critical role leadership plays cannot be underestimated hence the need to engage in the voter listing exercise.
He however warned Nyumba Kumi chiefs to desist from lobbying for partisan interests saying the choice should be left to citizens to determine who they want to elect to various leadership positions.
“Once each of those committees sit and deliberate on this particular issue of registration of voters and they decide to encourage each member within the cluster to register as a voter, the impact is good for the country,” Kaguthi observed.
“It is not the responsibility of those committees to tell their members who they should or they shouldn’t vote for,” he warned.
While acknowledging the vital role played by Nyumba Kumi leaders since the voter listing drive commenced on January 16, Kaguthi said it is important for the leaders to continue creating awareness in order to ensure those who are yet to register do so before the February 14 deadline.
“A lot of their members (Nyumba Kumi) have taken voters cards but they should now do a combing for the last couple of days which are remaining,” he urged.
So far, with only one week to the close of voter enrolment, only 2,164,185 new voters have been enrolled according to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), falling short of the 6mn target set by the commission.
According to statistics released by the IEBC on Wednesday, Western, Nyanza, Nairobi and the Coast regions recorded the least turnout in the MVR exercise at 35.75, 41.54, 41.92 and 48.53 percent respectively.
North Eastern, Eastern, Central and Rift Valley regions recorded over 50 per cent of expected turnout at 80.57,52.16,66.23 and 58.77 percent respectively.
The national average compared to the projected turnout currently stands at 50.4 per cent.