Kibra, Mathare dwellers anxious for Tuesday polls
Just a day after the heated one month campaign period came to an end, calmness engulfed Nairobi slums as residents anxiously wait to cast their vote tomorrow.
A crosscheck by Star in Africa’s largest Kibra slum and Mathare yesterday established that dwellers were undertaking their normal daily activities such as going to church, hawking, among other chores ahead of picking their next set of leaders.
It was also evident that there was massive exodus of people in both slums to upcountry in what senior police officers told Star that residents said they were going to vote.
Sunday also gave some residents any ample time to crowd at polling centres they registered as voters to confirm if their names are captured in the published Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission voters’ list displayed at various stations.
Some became worried of being denied a chance to vote after vainly searching for their names on the list despite having registered as voters at the same polling center.
A response from IEBC seen by Star after the affected persons sent their ID numbers via a text message to 70,000 to confirm their voter registration status requested them to visit the nearest electoral commission office for help.
“I registered at this polling center but my name is nowhere after spending many hours searching through the entire list,” one of the victims accompanied with her husband and a one-year-old child at a Mathare polling center lamented.
However, voters whose names were on the list were happy and ready to exercise their democratic right of electing their leaders to help champion development in their areas for five years.
Administration Police Commander Mathare Sub-County Kiprono Langat confirmed to Star that they are prepared and ready to help IEBC officials conduct the elections in the area without any any problem.
He assured residents that there is enough security grounds police, local leaders such as politicians, church leaders, village elders, all local administrators and even youth leaders have been holding meetings for the last three months on security and peace in the region during and after the August 8 general election.
“So far the place is calm. We have seen people go to church as usual and we hope from Tuesday we will be hitting the road to ensure all polling stations are well covered security wise. We need everybody to turn out to cast their vote and follow IEBC regulations of leaving the polling station after casting the vote,” Langat said.
In Kibra, which is NASA flag bearer Raila Odinga’s turf, residents especially the youth stood at the roadsides in groups of more than 20 people doing a postmortem of the concluded campaigns and reminding themselves on heeding to Odinga’s six-piece voting.
They also debated on waking up very early to go and vote and return home to prevail upon those who are yet to go and cast their vote.
Senior officers at Kibra deputy county commissioners officer also confirmed that the area is calm and that they have been given more security officers to help man the elections.
“Residents are very anxious to cast their ballot now that this is the opposition stronghold. We have received officers from Kenya Forest Service, NYS and Prisons to be deployed officially today,” an inspector at the station said.
He disclosed that his boss was in a meeting with IEBC officers at Upper Hill tallying center over the elections issues.
The inspector said the officers will start distributing ballots papers and other election materials stored at the constituency level to polling centers from today.
He said the officers and IEBC officials will spend the night at polling centers in preparation for Tuesday voting that kicks off at 6am.