By  FeverPitch Reporter

Kenya’s electoral body has organised a series of road races across the country to boost voter registration ahead of the General Election.

Officials of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will on November 14 launch the races at a function in Nairobi where sponsors and partners will contribute in cash and kind.

The 5km and 10km road races will be held in Nyeri on December 2, Kakamega and Nairobi on December 9, Mombasa on December 15 and Eldoret the following day. The Kakamega version will be a bicycle race.

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Addressing journalists at a media breakfast in Nairobi yesterday, IEBC Vice Chair Lillian Mahiri-Zaja, the Deputy Commissioner Secretary Support Services Wilson Shollei and the Director of Voter Regsitration and Partnerships Joel Mabonga said they have decided to leverage on Kenya’s most successful sport to boost voter registration.

Registration target

They want to register 50,000 runners in the entire exercise.

“Athletics has become a unifying factor among Kenyans. Each time a Kenyan athlete is winning a major race abroad, all Kenyans are united and glued to their television sets regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or gender.

“To qualify to run, one must register as a voter. This will help us secure our 18 million voter registration target,” they said.

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“We want Kenyans to emulate athletes and conduct peaceful elections despite the fierce competition.

“Like all Kenyans cheer and celebrate athletes’ success despite our ethnic and religious divide, Kenyans should compete for elective positions peacefully and celebrate after that,” said Mabonga.

Prize money will not be too much because they want the exercise to be voluntary. They said each race will have a budget of Sh200,000. That may change depending on the budget.

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IEBC athletics elections