Gun violence among reasons for low voter turn out in Mombasa

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Coast Civil Society network chair Zedekiah Adika addressing the media in Mombasa./Yvonne Wanjiru

Gun violence was among the main reasons why the voter turn-out in Mombasa was low.

This is according to Coast Civil Society Network for Human Rights.

Speaking at a press briefing in Mombasa, the Network’s Chairperson Zedekiah Adika said they recorded several incidents where guns were used in Mombasa.

Adika said the Network recorded incidents of violence in Tononoka and Mkomani.

“There were incidences of shooting including one where an aspirant called Ali Mwatsau was shot and there was also a gun drama involving one called Mohammed Saido who was an aspirant in Nyali,” said Akida.

According to the CSOs, most of the gun violence and drama was propagated by politicians.

They now want security apparatus to investigate the incidences so that those involved are prosecuted.

“There were two incidences and in every of those incidences we realized there was misuse of guns and arbitrary shooting in the air. We noted areas where wananchi were scared and they had to go home and we also noted areas where the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials were actually scared,” said Adika.

“So the issues around gun violence is something that needs addressing in Mombasa especially with political players,” he added.

During the briefing where they presented their preliminary report on the 2022 general elections, the Coast Civil Society Network also mentioned low voter education before the elections as a factor in the low voter turn out experienced in the region.

“A large section of Mombasa did not turn out to vote, we attribute this to voter empathy emanating from minimal voter education and disappointment with the political leadership,” said Adika.

“We also look at the recent occurrences, one of them is the cancelation of the voting of the seat of Governor in Mombasa, and two, there were logistical challenges especially in Mvita area, there were stations that opened as late as 10am and there were a bit of areas where KIEMS kit failed,” he added.

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