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Long Queues Culminate The ‘Last Day’ Of Voter Registration As Thika Hits 30,000 New voters.

A section of the voter who had queued for voter transfer exercise at the Thika IEBC offices on Wednesday. The centre experienced an upsurge of transfer applicants in the last two days in a did to beat the February 14th deadline.
As has been the Kenyan habit where we tend to leave the participation in national events till the last day, the 30-day mass voter listing exercise which was scheduled to end yesterday confirmed our ‘last minute’ attitude when we see people coming out in their numbers to join queues. 

The voter registration exercise recorded an impressive turnout from Monday and Tuesday at many of the centres across Thika Town Constituency. Hundreds of young voters crowded the Kiambu Huduma Centre opposite Thika Stadium to register in a last minute bid to avoid being locked out of the August polls.
The longest of all the queues was witnessed at the IEBC offices involving voters intending to shift from one polling centre to another. The officials had to increase their manpower and add more registration desks so as to beat the increase in the number of people reporting for transfers.

“The last few days of the voter registration process has seen an upsurge in the number of people seeking our services especially in transferring from one polling station to another. It is good to note that the process began as early as January 14th (this year). In short, they had 30 days to visit our offices. Otherwise, we assure the last minute registrants, though, we are doing everything possible to accommodate as many people as possible,” said one IEBC official who requested anonymity as he was not authorised to address the media.

He added that there had been so many transfers of polling stations from outside the constituency with quite a number of people from other counties coming to transfer their vote to Thika Town Constituency.

Our observers on the ground counted three 14-seaters matatus drop people to the centre for transfer of vote. In one instance, one matatu dropped a group of people from one ethnic community whose place of origin is nowhere near this constituency, something that raised eyebrows as to their intent to transfer to the constituency.

“All these voter transportation doesn’t help anyone other than the politicians doing that. It doesn’t help the people of Thika at all as these ‘foreigners’ are working to impose the wrong leaders to us. They too will not benefit from their action as they will not benefit from the services of these people back home where they have come from,” said 66-year old Janet Njeri who has religiously voted for leaders since the year 1969.

She reckoned that all these voters were a liability to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election bid as they would be a waste in case the politician ferrying them now failed to clinch the Jubilee nomination in April.

“I know that if the politicians ferrying them here fail to be nominated to vie for the seat in April (for the party primaries), they will not ferry them here for the August polls. This people will not spend their money to come here to vote as they have no stake here. The result of that will see the president lose a lot of votes as they will not be allowed to vote in their home areas too,” she added.

Speaking at the centre, Patrick Wainaina (Wa Jungle), who is vying for the Thika parliamentary seat rebuked this tendency as according to him, it denied the people their right to genuine representation.

“It (illegal transfer of voters) is very wrong! That’s an election fraud and should never be entertained. However, there is nothing wrong for one to transfer their vote if they feel that they will be in Thika for the August polls. This more affects students currently in our learning institutions who will be forced to vote from Thika at the time,” said Wainaina.

Wainaina praised the people of Thika for coming out in their numbers to register since as according to the IEBC data, about 30,000 new voters out of the targeted 50,000 had already registered. He appealed to those who have not yet done so to take advantage of the two-day voter registration window that was culminated from yesterday’s high court ruling that extended the exercise by two days. He also called on everyone who had issues with the register to use this time to correct their data with the IEBC.

“Every vote counts and it would be quite unfortunate if one will be denied to exercise their constitutional right to vote for a mistake that could have been rectified. For those whose names don’t appear in the IEBC register please report to the IEBC offices and ensure that your names have been included into their database,” he concluded.

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