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491,968 enlisted as apathy persists in mass voter registration

NATIONAL
By Moses Nyamori | October 18th 2021

Only 491,968 new voters have enlisted representing a paltry 15.5 per cent. Left, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebulati.  [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Persistent apathy in the ongoing mass voter registration now threatens to deny the electoral commission its target of six million new voters ahead of the next polls.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has once again missed its weekly target by a wide margin as counties from the vote-rich Mt Kenya region continue to lag behind in the exercise.

Only 491,968 new voters have enlisted in the last two weeks representing a paltry 15.5 per cent.

“The commission would like to report that a total of 491,968 being newly registered voters have been enrolled out of the two weeks' target of three million,” said IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati yesterday.

Kiambu, Murang'a, Nyeri and Nyandarua counties recorded less than 10 per cent of their target for the second week of the month-long mass voter registration, suggesting extreme apathy in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s backyard.

Kiambu registered 15,044 out of the 176,684 targeted in the past 14 days of the exercise while Murang'a enlisted 7,985 out of 95,773 targeted. Nyeri recorded 5,380 out of 74,498 while Nyandarua enlisted 4,985 out of 54,826 new voters.

Other Mt Kenya counties lagging behind are Kirinyaga that recorded 6,108 out of a target of 56,892 in the second week of the exercise. Embu recorded 4,813 out of a target of 50,444, Tharaka Nithi 4,211 out of 34,693 while Meru enlisted 15,286 out of 15,286 targeted.

Counties from the arid and semi-arid areas continued to lead despite missing their target by more than 50 per cent.

Turkana county achieved 35 per cent of its target by enlisting 10,835 out of its 31,250 target in the second week followed by Samburu with 4,248 out of 13,530. West Pokot registered 8,800 out of its target of 29,337 representing 30 per cent.

Garissa recorded 26 per cent of its target after 6,867 registered while Mandera recorded 28 per cent achievement by having enlisted 7,913 out of 28,536 targeted.

The commission announced plans to deploy registration kits to universities and colleges in an attempt to reach out to majority youths who would be first time voters in the 2022 General Election.

“The BVR kits will be available in all campuses and other institutions of higher learning based on schedules that have been jointly prepared with students' representatives,” added Chebukati. 

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