PRESIDENTIAL AMBITION SHELVED

Register as voters for political bargaining power, Joho tells Coast

IEBC targets over 800,000 new voters in the region

In Summary
  • In 2017, the Coast region had 1.2 million registered voters.
  • Joho said through the votes, Kenyans can decide the destiny of the country.
Mombasa governor Hassan Joho flags off a voter registration caravan on Wednesday.
VOTER REGISTRATION Mombasa governor Hassan Joho flags off a voter registration caravan on Wednesday.
Image: LABAN WALLOGA

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho on Wednesday rallied the Coast region to register as voters in large numbers, to have a voice in national politics.

The governor, who is serving his second and last term in office, said the region can only be considered in national politics if it is vote-rich.

“The only way any person can participate in fixing the destiny of the country is by ensuring your voice is heard. What is most important now is that if you are eligible to vote,” Joho said.

On Wednesday, Joho flagged off a caravan that will move around all the six subcounties of Mvita, Likoni, Nyali, Jomvu, Kisauni and Changamwe in Mombasa to mobilise residents to come out in large numbers and register as voters.

“If we register in large numbers, it puts us in a place where national politics cannot be decided without our input. As the region's leaders, we will always be asked: What numbers (votes) are you bringing to the table?” he said.

Joho said, even though he has shelved his presidential ambitions for the sake of ODM leader Raila Odinga, he still harbours the hopes that one day, he will vie for the country’s top seat.

“I’m still hopeful of becoming president one day, but that will only be achievable if we start early. We should first begin by registering as voters in large numbers,” he added.

The nationwide voter registration exercise, which was launched on Monday by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission targets at least six million new voters.

The month-long exercise will end on November 4.

On the Coast, the IEBC targets slightly over 800,000 new voters. In the 2017 General Election, the region had 1.2 million voters.

 “Let’s encourage each other to register as voters. Our strength to bargain at any political table will be based on the number of our votes,” the governor said.

Joho warned against divisive politics, calling for peace and tolerance ahead of next year’s general election.

“We should create some space in our democracy where we can differ in ideology but still have mutual respect for one another. That can only be achieved when we all agree.

The IEBC targets at least 200,000 new voters in Mombasa. The county had 575, 223 registered voters in 2017.

Kisauni led with 126,151 voters, Mvita had 107,091, Nyali had 104,017, Likoni (87,326), Changamwe (86,331) and Jomvu (69,307).

-Edited by SKanyara