As the end of the voter registration period set by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) draws closer, politicians have now devised ways of ensuring more members of the public get enrolled.
First, two female Members of Parliament are on record asking women to deny men sex if they had not registered. Taita-Taveta Women Representative Joyce Lay and her Nyeri Town counterpart Esther Murugihave been very vocal on this, with Murungi urging men not to give their spouses money if they also failed to register in the current exercise.
“As women, we have decided that our husbands and sons will not also get food until they register as voters,” Ms Murungi said last week.
Secondly, there are those who have resorted to encouraging their constituents to bar unregistered residents from feasting in public ceremonies like weddings, burials and even social gatherings. This method is common in the Western Kenya region and was first reported in Kisumu.
“We urge that from today, you monitor such vital documents and only serve food to those who produce them,” Kisumu Central ODM chairman Seth Ochieng’ was quoted at a funeral.
It is also reported that in some places, residents are denied access to public service vehicles if they do not have crucial documents; national identity card and the voters’ card. This was said to be the situation in Bondo and some parts of Kiambu County.
In addition, other politicians now want those without the voting card to be barred from receiving services at public offices. Kieni MP Kanini Kega suggested the initiative a week ago in Naro-Moru, where he launched a football tournament.
With all these ‘techniques’ being implemented by politicians, the IEBC has distanced itself from forcing anyone to register as a voter terming it unconstitutional. An electoral commissioner, Muthoni Wangai, was a week ago quoted in Nyeri, stating: “Nobody has a right to force anyone to vote or register as a voter”.
IEBC has only registered 25% of its first week target, managing 251,894 against 1,037,893 set.
Meanwhile, in Nairobi’s Kariobangi area, the voter registration exercise has been marred by violent incidents with several people being injured.