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Central residents shun voter listing

By Kamau Maichuhie | February 8th 2016

There is low voter registration turnout in Mount Kenya region.

Speaking during a stakeholder's forum organised by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in partnership with UNDP, IEBC Co-ordinator Nancy Kariuki said the trend was worrying considering the area was densely populated.

"We are calling on residents from the region who have identity cards but do not have voters' cards to register when the exercise commences on the 15th of this month. It is the right of every Kenyan to be registered as a voter and participate in elections," Ms Kariuki added.

IEBC hopes to register 315,000 new voters in Kiambu and 160,000 in Murang'a. Statistics from IEBC show counties from Mount Kenya region, a Jubilee stronghold, trailing those in Western and Nyanza, which are CORD strongholds.

As of October last year, Kiambu had registered an additional 5,505 voters, Murang'a 2,729, Nyeri 2,136, Kirinyaga 2,035, Embu 1,539 Laikipia 802, Nyandarua 2,191 and Tharaka-Nithi 1,775.

In the same period, 12,271 voters were registered in Nairobi, 10,680 in Kakamega, Bungoma 7,131, Kisumu 8,340, Kisii 6,069 and 5,836 in Homa Bay.

Participants present at the forum faulted IEBC for using distance instead of population to determine the number of biometric voter registration kits each will get.

The National Alliance Kiambu County Co-ordinator Gladys Chania said population was the most ideal factor to consider. "(It) would be good if the more populated areas could be given more registration kits in order to enlist as many people as possible," Ms Chania said.

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Ngewa MCA Karungo wa Thangw'a said the low turn out in the region was shocking.

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