Date:28 Nov 2012
Kenya Electoral Body Express Disappointments over Low turn-outs
According to Ambassador Yusuf Nzibo, Commissioner of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the ongoing voter registration process has been disappointing.
“The attitude Kenyans have is usually to turn up at the last minute. We are telling them please turn up in large numbers [because] the rains are about to start so, don’t wait till it’s difficult for us to reach you. We’ve got sufficient equipment to be able to register all Kenyans,” said IEBC Commissioner Ambassador Yusuf Nzibo. “We are noticing that it’s the elderly who are turning up to register. The youth are yet to come out and register. Many of them are saying they either don’t have national identification cards or saying that they are still waiting for their cards.”
He stated that the electoral body has stepped up education efforts to encourage Kenyans to register ahead of next year’s general election scheduled for March 4th, adding that there needs to be a change in attitude, especially among the youth who wait until the last minute to register. He warned that the registration period would not be extended as Kenya’s Immigration Service has promised to expedite issuing out national identification cards to enable people to register.
“The minister in charge of registration of persons has also agreed that we can use old ID’s [identification cards] and we have been assured that cards are being channeled out. So, people with old IDs are also going to be registered,” and that the electoral body has resolved initial problems with the biometric machines used for the registration.
He concluded that the IEBC has a target of registering about 18 million voters for next year’s vote. It is not clear yet how many have been registered so far.