The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Delays Mark Start of Voter Listing in Mombasa

Photo: The Star/Monicah Mwangi
A voter registration kit (file photo).

Voter registration in most parts of Mombasa yesterday took off at a slow pace with most centres starting the exercise late amid a low turnout.

Kisauni DC Tom Anjere toured several centres in the county before launching the exercise in Mwakirunge. He was accompanied by members of the district decurity committee.

Several centres had not started the exercise by 11am. At Kishada ground in Kisauni constituency, the registration desk was empty with no police officer in sight.

Mvita MP and Mombasa senator hopeful Najib Balala and his ally Ibrahim 'Babangida' Khamis were forced to register at the Snake Valley in Kisauni, Soko Mjinga area.

"We don't have time. We want to register so we can move on with other issues," said an upset Balala who questioned the delay. He however urged Mombasa residents to register in large numbers.

"Is this a plot to start tampering with the elections?" he questioned. Babangida, who eyes the Mombasa gubernatorial seat, cautioned residents against careless registration.

Balala and Babangida said the only way Mombasa residents can better their lives is by registering as voters and voting in good leaders.

In Likoni, there was a relatively good turnout despite the area being one of the Mombasa Republican Council strongholds. The MRC are against voting in the Coast region.

There was tight security around the registration centres with police patrolling the areas in their vans. Mishi Mboko, a Mombasa county women representative aspirant, said the turnout was encouraging.

"I am happy with the turnout. There has been relative calm. So far so good," said Mboko, who registered herself at Shika Adabu primary school.

In Changamwe, impatient residents complained to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission officials about the delays. The delay was allegedly caused by some password problem with the Biometric Voter Registration Kits.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that there was a bit of a scuffle at a registration centre in Ziwa la Ng'ombe primary. However, Kisauni police boss said no incident had been reported from the area.

Nominated MP Sheikh Mohamed Dor urged residents to register as early as possible to avopid last minute rush which he said usually leads to chaos. She called on the IEBC to put up more registration centres across the region. Currently there are about 58 polling stations.

He expressed fear many will miss the opportunity to register as voters and subsequently not vote. This, he said, will be violating Kenyans right to vote

IEBC South Coast coordinator Amina Soud could not be reached for comment as calls to her phone went unanswered and text messages were not replied to.

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