IEBC: Voter Turn Out In Kilifi To Hit 80 Percent

In 2017 Kilifi county had 506,068 registered voters but the number has risen to 588,842 registered voters in the seven constituencies including 240 prisoners in the four prisons.

At least 80 per cent of Kilifi residents are expected to participate in the next week General Election.

That is according to  The Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission that said almost the process is complete.

In 2017 Kilifi county had 506,068 registered voters but the number has risen to 588,842 registered voters in the seven constituencies including 240 prisoners in the four prisons.

The County also has 1145 polling stations,

Authorities from IEBC met with stakeholders from all over the county on a training program for the preparedness and updates on the status of the county elections and unanimously called for a peaceful elections.

Speaking at the Kenya Red Cross Society Malindi branch conference hall the IEBC manager Kilifi County and Returning Officer Hussein Gure said he called the stakeholders forum to update them on the preparedness.

“The status of preparedness involves three arms, one is preparedness inform of personnel, two preparedness inform of election materials and three preparedness in form of security arrangements,” he said.

Gure said they are currently training all training all election officials adding that they were finalizing the training of presiding and deputy presiding officers which to him went on very well.

he said this will be followed by training for clerks for two days after which they shall have completed the training of personnel.

On election materials, he said they were also on track as ballot papers were being delivered to constituency offices.

“We have put security in place to receive those ballot papers and to secure them, we expect that exercise to be completed in the next day or two, the other materials are in place, we expect no problems there,” he said.

The County Elections manager said they have established an Election Security arrangement program (ESAP) which involves all state stakeholders from the office of the Director of Public prosecution, to IEBC and the office of the registrar of Political parties, NCIC and other state offices.

“In terms of election preparedness as far as Kilifi county is concerned, I can say with confidence that we are prepared for the elections,” he said.

Gure called for peace and tranquility during the election period adding that their main them was ‘Kilifi County has chosen peace’ which is the message they were sending out to the public.

The Elections manager said Kilifi North has the highest number of registered voters with 116,942 registered voters followed by Kilifi South with 97,696, Malindi with 94,605, and Magarini with 80,128, Kaloleni 73,009, Ganze 67,257,  and Rabai which has the lowest with 53,115 registered voters.

“We have over 80,000 new registered voters added to the register this time and those voters who can make a significant difference and contribution to the electoral process,” he said.

He said there are a few areas of concern regarded as hotspots but cannot be compared to that of 2013 but they are working closely with security apparatus to deal with any emerging cases.

“The hotspots will be watched closely and anybody intending to cause trouble will meet with the law,” he said.

Stakeholders interviewed called on residents of Kilifi to maintain peace during the elections.

Edward Kazungu a Kaya elder appealed for a peaceful election and said they do not expect a repeat of the post-election violence.

He said they have been sensitizing people in many ways through peace walks, and poems, among others to ensure peace prevails during the elections.

“We have seen that indeed IEBC is prepared for the elections and we have faith that this election will be free and fair,” he said.

Famau Mohamed a Muslim religious leader thanked IEBC for inviting stakeholders including religious leaders to update them on the progress of election preparedness and ensure they go out to sensitize community members to vote peacefully.

“We would urge members of the public to turn out in large numbers so as to ensure there are successful and peaceful elections so that people coexist peacefully, right now we have peace and would like to continue living peacefully,” he said.

Afye Swaleh the Muslim for Human Rights Field Coordinator Kilifi County said the IEBC sensitization forum has built confidence in the stakeholders by showing how prepared IEBC was for the electoral process.

“We are confident that there will be a fair and credible election because we have established that they are ready, hopefully, all will go well, it is for us to be calm and trust the process will be fair,” he said.

Ahmed Mudharis from Omar project Malindi said they have done sensitization to the youth against being used by politicians to cause violence by telling them to vote and go back home.

“I call upon everyone from Malindi and everywhere to be cooperative because the election is a season but life is important so all of us should vote peacefully and go home to wait for the results to be announced,” he said.

Mama Alice a representative of the business community in Kilifi county said they normally suffer during elections if it is not peaceful but hope that their sensitization efforts will bear fruits this time.