Years of stuck development and voter apathy is real as youth in Kibra constituency demand money to register as voters.
“A lot of youth are not taking the responsibility to register as voters, simply because they think the government has failed them to the extent that development has not reached the ground as they expected in the last five,” said Jared, a resident of Kibra in Nairobi.
Betty, a resident Toi Market area of Kibra Constituency, said most youth expect to be paid to take part in the August election.
“Most of the youth here say they are waiting for some of the aspirants to pass by and give them some inducement so that they can register. They feel the leaders have failed them and thus they would rather not waste their time taking the voters card,” she said.
And even as we conducted interviews for this story, small of groups converged on the roadside even demanded money to be interviewed.
“I need something, how do you expect me to speak to you just like that,” one youth in his early twenties said, “I am not taking a voters’ card, tell those who want us to vote to give us something first.”
Being the last day of voter registration, many people were expected to turn out but an IEBC official told Capital FM News that the majority of the people who were on the queue are those who want to transfer their voting location and very few new registrations.
“The turnout is still very low. Most of the people who come just want to transfer their vote from one electoral zone to another, so we are referring them to Constituency Offices because we are currently not dealing with that,” he said.
During our spot check across various centers in the city, our reporters witnessed various cases where youth groups were sitting near registration centres and demanded for as little as KShs30 to register.
The campaign which kicked off on January 17 was announced after the first phase one of the exercise from October 4 to November 5 last year lapsed with 1.52 million eligible Kenyans registered as new voters.
The second phase of Diaspora registration in the United States, South Sudan, and Germany began on January 21 to February 6.
The exercise in London, United Kingdom, Canada and United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be extended to recover days lost after registration clerks were delayed in reporting to the High Commissions due to the Covid-19 related travel restrictions and logistical challenges.
Once the second phase of mass voter registration closes, an audit of the voter register will be done before inspection and verification of the same.