Voting Closed:

FINAL TOUCHES

Kilifi polls preparations complete, says IEBC

County returning officer expects a voter turnout of more than 80 per cent

In Summary
  • In 2017, the county had 506,068 registered voters but the number has risen to 588,842 in the seven constituencies, including 240 prisoners in the four prisons.
  • IEBC officials met with stakeholders from all over the county on a training programme for the preparedness and updates on the status of election.
Kilifi IEBC election manager Hussein Gure during a stakeholder meeting to update them on election preparedness at Kenya Red Cross Conference hall in Malindi.
Kilifi IEBC election manager Hussein Gure during a stakeholder meeting to update them on election preparedness at Kenya Red Cross Conference hall in Malindi.
Image: ALPHONCE GARI

Preparations for the August 9 election are almost complete in Kilifi, where IEBC expects a voter turnout of more than 80 per cent.

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

The county has 1,145 polling stations.

IEBC officials met with stakeholders from all over the county on a training programme for the preparedness and updates on the status of election.

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: preparedness inform of personnel, preparedness in form of election materials and preparedness in form of security arrangements,” he said.

Gure said they are currently training all election officials, adding that they were finalising the training of presiding and deputy presiding officers which, according to him, went on smoothly. 

The officer said this will be followed by training for clerks for two days. 

On election materials, he said, 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 and we expect no problems there,” he said.

The county elections manager said they have established an Election Security Arrangement Programme, which involves various state stakeholders.

The include Office of the Director of Public prosecution, IEBC, Office of the Registrar of Political parties and National Cohesion and Integration Commission, among others. 

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

He said Kilifi North has the highest number of registered voters with 116,942 followed by Kilifi South with 97,696 and Malindi with 94,605.

Others are Magarini with 80,128, Kaloleni 73,009, Ganze 67,257  and Rabai, which has the lowest with 53,115 registered voters. 

“We have more than 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.

Gure said there are a few areas of concern regarded as hotspots, but cannot be compared to that of 2013, noting that hey are working closely with security agencies to deal with any emerging cases.

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

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

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

He said they have been sensitising people in many ways through peace walks and poems to ensure peace prevails. 

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

Famau Mohamed, a Muslim religious leader, thanked IEBC for inviting stakeholders, including religious leaders to update them on the progress of election preparedness.

“We would urge members of the public to turn out in large numbers so as to ensure there are successful and peaceful election,” he said.

Afye Swaleh, the Muslim for Human Rights field coordinator Kilifi county, said the IEBC sensitisation forum has built confidence in the stakeholders by showing how prepared IEBC was for the electoral process.

Ahmed Mudharis from Omar project Malindi said they have done sensitisation 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 sensitisation efforts will bear fruits this time.

 

(edited by Amol Awuor)

Kilifi stakeholders during a meeting convened by IEBC to update them on election preparedness at Kenya Red Cross Conference hall in Malindi.
Kilifi stakeholders during a meeting convened by IEBC to update them on election preparedness at Kenya Red Cross Conference hall in Malindi.
Image: ALPHONCE GARI
Kilifi stakeholders during a meeting convened by IEBC to update them on election preparedness at Kenya Red Cross Conference hall in Malindi.
Kilifi stakeholders during a meeting convened by IEBC to update them on election preparedness at Kenya Red Cross Conference hall in Malindi.
Image: ALPHONCE GARI
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