'Kenyans no longer know why it is beneficial to vote,' Migori Woman Rep Pamela Odhiambo says
Migori County Woman Representative Dr. Pamela Odhiambo says the low voter registration turn-out witnessed across the country is because Kenyans do not see why they should vote.
“When you talk to our people, what comes clear to me is that Kenyans no longer know why it is beneficial for them to be voters and come out to vote,” said Dr. Odhiambo on Tuesday.
Speaking on Citizen TV's Day Break show, the woman representative said she had attempted to organize drives to mobilize Kenyans to register, but her efforts were met with adamance.
“I attempted to partner with IEBC twice this year in Migori County in a drive to register people, the numbers were still very little,” she said.
She further claims Kenyans do not want to register as voters because they have lost trust in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) over what she terms as mishandled elections.
“This borders on the issue of mishandled elections as people think when you elect Pamela, IEBC will give the ticket to Sifuna or it will not be fair,” stated Odhiambo.
She, however, expressed reservations on extending the voter registration period from the November 2 deadline, saying what is needed is mass education.
“The issue of restoring the faith in people and thoroughly showing Kenyans how it is beneficial to me as a citizen to vote... is where we are failing. I wish all of us who are leaders who know why our people should vote, maybe we could still go ahead and partner with our people and try to make sure that the registration goes on.”
“Just extending the time and people are not willing to come out and register to me that does not make sense,” she added.
IEBC previously announced that the exercise would not be extended, on account of the tight budget.
The commission's chair, Wafula Chebukati said the commission was allocated Ksh.1.2 billion out of the Ksh. 4 billion it had requested for the exercise that is currently underway.
“After November 2, we will not have money to extend the voter registration exercise. The commission can only afford to conduct mass registration for 30 days,” said Chebukati.
Last Monday, only 760,000 Kenyans had registered in the ongoing mass voter registration exercise, against a target of 4.5 million new voters by end of the week.