NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 17 – Kenyans in the Diaspora have urged Parliament to fast-track the development of regulations that will allow them to participate in the General Election of 2022.
Chairperson of the Kenyan community living in Botswana, Tom Ochieng Atonga, observed that it was unfair to lock out Kenyans living in the Diaspora from the electoral process, in spite of their great role in the development of the economy through remittances back home.
“Mr Speaker, we want to participate in the electoral process without having to travel back home to undertake the exercise,” Atonga observed.
They were speaking during a dinner hosted in their honour by Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi who is leading the Kenyan Delegation to the 49th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference-Africa Region, in Gaborone, Botswana.
Article 82 of the Constitution requires the Commission to progressively register citizens residing outside Kenya to allow them to vote.
He said the Commission made efforts to reach out to Kenyan communities living in the five countries, using the Kenyan High Commissions and Diaspora organizations to call upon them to come out and register.
In last year’s General Election, only Diaspora voters living in Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and South Africa were incorporated in the final tally.
The IEBC explained it used 2017 poll as a feasibility exercise for Diaspora voting to know key challenges and areas of success, hence, has prepare adequately to ensure all Kenyans living abroad cast their ballot in 2022.