Lamu, KENYA: Lamu leaders have welcomed the announcement by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission-IEBC to register Lamu voters.
Lamu’s voter registration exercise is expected to commence on 18 April to May 17 according to an announcement by IEBC.
Lamu was previously left of out of the recently concluded mass voter registration exercise owing to a pending court petition challenging Governor Issa Timamy’s election into office.
The petition was filed at the Supreme Court by Lamu Politician Fahim Twaha in 2013.
The legal hitch has since been resolved while IEBC Coast coordinator Amina Soud said there were no more reasons why the exercise should not take place in Lamu.
Speaking on Friday,Soud said the exercise had been previously scheduled to commence on March 21 but was later postponed due to the Easter celebrations.
“We had planned to conduct the Lamu voter registration on March 21 but we later postponed it due to the Easter event. But as it is now, we are set to go and the exercise commences on April 18 to May 17 for Lamu and as well as Kericho and Malindi,” said Soud.
Lamu West MP Julius Ndegwa said the move would help cool misleading rumors that were making rounds in the county and confusing voters.
“We are glad that the date is finally set for our voters to be registered. There have been too many rumors and misleading information making rounds but we are glad that the IEBC has finally spoken,”said Ndegwa.
Lamu Deputy Governor Eric Mugo urged locals to come out in large numbers and register as voters.
“We urge people to turn up.The IEBC has played its part, whatever remains is our own bit.Lets register to vote in our choice of leaders come 2017,”said Mugo.
This comes amid increased reports Tana River and Garissa politicians have been ‘stealing’ Lamu voters by coercing Lamu residents to registering as voters in their counties.
Early last month, the IEBC warned politicians against ferrying or forcing voters to register outside their counties and termed the same as an election offence.
Soud called on all those involved the same to cease failure to which legal measures would be taken against them.
Lamu governor Issa Timamy has also asked Lamu locals who had already registered as voters in other counties to visit their nearest IEBC centers and reverse the same.
“We understand the stalemate had brought some sought of confusion and as a result our people were being swayed into other things but we are glad all is over and we can now register our people,”said Timamy.