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Kenya's destiny lies in the hands of 19m voters

By MOSES NYAMORI | February 22nd 2017
Wafula Chebukati Chairman IEBC when they officially announced the closure of the mass voter registration drive that commenced on january 16th 2017. PHOTO:WILBERFORCE OKWIRI

More than 19 million voters will decide Kenya's fate for the next five years when they cast their votes on August 8.

This is after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) enlisted 3.78 million new voters out of the 6.1 million targeted in the mass voter registration exercise that ended on Sunday.

Last year, the commission listed 1.4 million voters, bringing an additional 5.2 million to the 14.32 million in the 2013 voters' register.

But IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati announced that these are not final figures since the commission is yet to clean up the voters' register to remove names of dead voters.

"Taking into account the registration of voters after the 2013 General Election, the commission projects that approximately 5.2 million new voters will be added on the voters roll," said Chebukati at a press briefing.

The figures released yesterday represent 62 per cent turn out in the highly charged exercise that saw President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga lead their brigades to whip their supporters to register.

But even after a five-day extension only Kajiado, Mandera and Narok hit the 100 per cent mark by listing 79,733 (240 per cent), 43,322 (116 per cent) and 63,650 (102 per cent).

Other counties listed as top 10 for achieving much of their voter listing targets include Garissa (92 per cent), Kirinyaga (91 per cent), Kiambu (90 per cent), Wajir (89 per cent), Murang'a (86 per cent), Nakuru (84 per cent) and West Pokot (81per cent).

In absolute numbers, Nairobi County tops after registering 461,346 new voters.

It is followed by Kiambu (225,995), Nakuru (175,756), Meru (169,803) and Mombasa (141,686).

Others in the top 10 with most new voters are Kilifi (123,866), Machakos (114,126), Kakamega (114,126), Murang'a (101,724) and Uasin Gishu (100,346).

In terms of regions, Rift Valley leads after listing 882,626 new voters out of the 1,208,932 targeted.

It is followed by Eastern Region that listed 594,527, Central 510,902 and Nairobi with 461,346 voters.

Nyanza is at number five after enlisting 449,740 out of IEBC's target of 854, 179, while Coast enlisted 404,828 new voters.

Western region posted 303,711, while North Eastern registered 110,698.

According to the figures, only 200,000 Kenyans listed during the five-day extension ordered by the High Court.

The commission announced that 1,001,819 Kenyans applied for transfer.

Chebukati could not, however, tell which areas experienced highest transfers saying the data had not been processed.

"We observed that there are places that experienced more transfers than new registration of voters. Once the data is processed, we shall know the trends and what they mean for preparations of elections, for instance the size of polling stations," he explained.

IEBC is now set feed the voters data received from the field to its central data base for further processing.

"This will entail matching all records received to ensure there are no duplicates or persons appearing in the register  twice," said Chebukati.

The commission said a preliminary register will be ready in 40 days and sent to registration officers to confirm its details.

According to IEBC, the voters register will be ready for public inspection and verification after two months.

"Once we receive feedback from the field officers, the commission shall prepare the draft register that will be subjected to inspection and verification by the public starting May 10," he added.

Meanwhile, the commission will from today start listing prisoners in all the 118 prisons across the country.

Only prisoners with national identification cards will be listed.

The commission has assigned one registration kit for every prison facility.

According to department of correctional services, there are 49,867 prisoners. Out of these, about 5,952 convicts and 2,246 remandees have their IDs.

The rest either have their IDs at home or do not have them altogether. 


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