Nairobi, KENYA: As Kenya embarks on the final leg of mass voter registration complaints are being made about youths having a preference for not registering.
During the launch of the voter registration in Nairobi on Monday Governor Dr. Evans Kidero noted that youths aged 18-24 have ignored this constitutional right.
“Even though they are opinionated and their beliefs and views are seen on social media,that is not enough to choose a leader. Democracy is absent when not everyone is heard. Most millenials have removed themselves from the electoral process,” Dr. Kidero fumed.
CORD principal Raila Odinga during the launch called on the office in charge of the registration of persons to ensure IDs reach the youth on time.
“They should do so otherwise they will be charged with trying to sabotage the voter registration process. We have situations where very many ID cards are shipped to different centres and some do not even belong to people in those areas. By design or accident a number of ID cards are taken to a particular station when they are needed elsewhere,” Mr. Odinga said.
Dr. Kidero also lamented that the process of getting IDs amongst the youth was frustrating for urban dwellers since they were asked to visit chiefs from their rural areas before the process started.
“Why should someone born and bred in Nairobi be asked to go back to their father’s chief? We are Nairobians, we live in Nairobi, we work in Nairobi. Nairobi people should be given IDs in Nairobi to enable them to vote,” said Dr. Kidero.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission IEBC is targeting 4- 6 million new voters in the continuing mass voter registration.
“We are also targeting 9 million people who have been issued with National IDs but are yet to register for the August polls, “remarked CEO Ezra Chiloba during a Media Consultative Forum on Voter registration in Nairobi.