PREPARATION

DP Ruto allies demand adequate funding for IEBC ahead of polls

Say "we better have IEBC carry out a proper election and lack money later than risk having a bungled election”

In Summary
  • The leaders spoke at various functions in the region where they mobilised residents to turn out and register as voters.
  • They also asked the government to speed up issuing IDs to residents. 
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago speaks at a voter sensitisation event in Eldoret on October 1.
MANDAGO Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago speaks at a voter sensitisation event in Eldoret on October 1.
Image: BY MATHEWS NDANYI

Deputy President William Ruto's allies in Rift Valley are demanding more funding to enable IEBC to adequately prepare for the 2022 General Election.

Led by Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, the political leaders in the region want Parliament to ensure the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission gets all the money required for voter registration and other election-related activities.

Mandago said the National Treasury must also prioritise funding of the electoral agency.

“We should not joke around with the issue of elections. We better have IEBC carry out a proper election and lack money later than risk having a bungled election because of poor funding of the IEBC,” Mandago said.

Similar sentiments were made by Turbo MP Janet Sitienei, her Soy counterpart Caleb Kositany and Nandi Governor Stephen Sang.

The leaders spoke at various functions in the region where they mobilised residents to turn out and register as voters.

Mandago is urging residents of the North Rift to collect more than 24,000 identity cards lying  in government offices so they can register as voters. Rift Valley leaders seek to mobilise and register more than 1.6 million new voters, mostly youth.

About 24,000 ID cards remain uncollected in the North Rift. They are a prerequisite for voter registration.

Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Shollei said thousands of youths have no ID cards.

The MP urged the government to speed up the issuance of IDs so people can register. IEBC is currently conducting an enhanced voter listing drive across the country.

Mandago and Shollei were among leaders who attended the launch of the IEBC voter registration drive at the Huduma Centre in Eldoret on Monday.

“We urge those who applied for the IDs to check our offices in the region and collect them," Paul Keitany, North Rift registrar of persons, said.

Mandago said Kenyans, especially the youth, need to take elections seriously as voting determines the kind of leaders they will get.

“If you have an ID and it is lying in the chief’s office or in a government office, kindly pick the card and register as a voter as quickly as possible,” the governor said.

Governor Sang and his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Alex Tolgos also separately urged residents to register as voters.

“You’re the population that this country needs more than the leaders that we’re fighting for. Take the elections seriously as it will determine the quality of service that you will get – this is why you need to register as a voter,” Mandago said.

He urged people not to wait until the last minute to register.

The IEBC wants to register at least 160,000 new voters in Uasin Gishu county during the 30-day listing period.

“In our county, we aim to have at least 700,000 voters by 2022 so we can fully participate in the election," Mandago said.

Uasin Gishu Senator Margaret Kamar also urged Kenyans to register as voters.

“Voting is your right, make sure you exercise that through getting the ID  card,” she said.

Shollei asked chiefs and their assistants to work with village elders so that all uncollected IDs are picked by applicants.

“If we work together we will surpass our target," Shollei said.