Voter registration has reached 9.1 million with the electoral commission urging voters to take advantage of yesterday’s public holiday and weekends to enlist for next year’s poll.
The figures fall short of the targeted 18 million voters by 8.9 million which has prompted the intervention
of President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka urging voters to register in large numbers.
Registration centres remained open as Kenya marked Jamhuri Day yesterday, with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) giving thumbs up to Kiambu County, whose turn-out had hit 74 per cent as per December 9.
“Have you registered? Registration ends on December 18, 2012. Registration centres remained open countrywide on Jamhuri Day,” IEBC said in an advertisement.
Other leading counties, whose registration IEBC hailed, included Lamu (71 per cent), Nairobi (68), Murang’a (67) and Nyeri (66).
Counties doing badly are Kwale (30 per cent), Turkana and Garissa (27), Wajir (25) and Mandera at 16 per cent.
In Kiambu County, 560,177 people had registered out of a possible 756,774 voters. Lamu had registered 33,831 out of the targeted 47,338. Meanwhile, in Kitui and Mwingi towns, shopkeepers, restaurants and bar operators have joined hands in an ambitious initiative to mobilise residents to register as voters.
For instance, in some restaurants, one may not be served your favourite drink or meal unless you show proof of having registered as a voter.
According to Kimanzi Musili, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kitui branch secretary, customers are encouraged to take the voter registration seriously.
“We are simply taking responsibility as the business community to supplement civic education efforts by IEBC to achieve 100 per cent voter listing” Mr Musili said on the sidelines of Jamhuri Day celebrations at the Kitui Municipal Stadium.