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Monday, 09 Jan 2017 16:38 EAT
Machakos Deputy Governor Bernard Kiala said today that 2.3 million members of the Kamba community could be eligible to vote in this year’s elections if they register as voters during the mass exercise scheduled to commence next week. Using figures from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), Mr Kiala said there were about 3.9 million Kenyans of Kamba decent in 2009 and basing on this census data, the number grew to approximately 4.6 million in 2016 with a half of the population is aged 19 and above, according to the population structure.
“Therefore over 50 percent of these 4.6 million people or 2.3 million people are eligible for voter registration”, he said in a statement today. In Machakos County alone, he said, there were about 660,000 people eligible to register in 2016, but only about 500,000 were registered even after the mass voter registration campaign of the same year. He regretted that one in every four eligible persons in Machakos County have not registered to vote.
The DG said that while voter registration has been continuing at Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) constituency offices and will be suspended on May 10, there is a second mass voter registration campaign starting on January 16, which will last over a month. He appealed to all Machakos residents "to sensitize their neighbors, friends and relatives, so that no eligible person is left out to register as a voter".
Emphasizing on the importance of Kenyans to register as voters, Mr Kiala said all sovereign power in Kenya belongs to the people which they exercised directly, or indirectly through their democratically elected representatives, according to Article 1 of the constitution. “Direct exercise of our sovereign power can be through public participation on pertinent issues, if so facilitated by consultative regimes.
"These include public participation in development planning, annual budgeting, and drafting of laws and policies. The sovereign power can also be exercised directly through demonstrations and petitions as supported by article 37 of the constitution”, he said. “With our current laws, a Kenyan can only delegate their power to a preferred candidate if they are registered by IEBC as a voter,” he said.