By PETER OPIYO
The voter listing results released by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission have opened minefields for politicians keen on reaping from areas with high numbers of registered voters.
Politicians will be studying the voters’ roll with a fine toothcomb as their campaign teams strategise on how to woo voters in regions with appetising numbers. They will also be keen to retain the numbers recorded in areas considered their strongholds.
Already Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta appears advantaged as his perceived strongholds have recorded impressive results of registered voters.
According to the figures, Central Province, where Uhuru’s TNA is the predominant party, has recorded impressive results with some centres surpassing the estimated voter mark.
All the five counties in the province have not less than 84 per cent registered voters with three of them making it to the top five positions. This is a better posting compared to Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard that has the highest voter register posting at 79 per cent. Areas with swing votes would therefore hold key as politicians strive to have the numbers ahead of the March 4 polls.
If the figures are anything to go by, it would be an interesting race for votes by the two leaders as their provincial backyards have no wide gap in the number of registered voters, according to figures released on December 16.
The figures showed 12.7 million have registered as voters in the country, representing 71 per cent of the target set by IEBC. The electoral body had set the target at 18 million.
The provincial tally of Uhuru’s Central stands at 1.97 million registered voters against a voting population of two million (97 per cent) compared to Raila’s Nyanza that has registered 1.77 million voters against an estimated voting population of 2.5 million.
Uhuru’s own backyard, Kiambu County, has surpassed the mark posting an impressive 771,319 registered voters out of the estimated voting population of 756,774. This represents 102 per cent. Nyeri, President Kibaki’s backyard, also makes it to the top five with 99 per cent registering as voters. Of the estimated voting population of 323,336, the figures show 320,050 voters registered in the county.
Kirinyaga County, which is also perceived to have a strong presence of TNA, is also among the top five posting 95 per cent registered voters. It has an estimated 246,179 voting population and 234,522 have registered to participate in the polls. Kirinyaga is also the backyard of Narc Kenya presidential aspirant Martha Karua and her party is viewed to be having a massive support base here as well.