The Star (Nairobi)

6 February 2013

Kenya: Insecurity Delays IEBC?s Voter Education in the North Rift

Photo: D. Nthengwe
One person has been killed and hundreds displaced by bandits in Baringo county (file photo).

Voter education is yet to take off in most counties in North Rift region especially the arid areas where officers are facing insecurity challenges.

Areas like Baringo, Pokot and Turkana are the most affected following a recent spate of cattle rustling activities. Yesterday, IEBC coordinator Solomon Mudanya was locked up in meetings, planning for the poll activities.

According to reports from civil society groups, voter education programmes have started in Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu and Nandi counties and awareness is higher in these areas.

Speaking to the press, transparency International programme office in North Rift Richard Maina asked IEBC to intensify the voter education programme and raise awareness to 80 per cent.

He said as many as 50 per cent of residents in the region lacked awareness of what is expected of them during voting.

"Many people are yet to know how they will vote come March 4 and the even the number of candidates they will be required to vote for," he said.

Maina said TI and other civil society groups will support IEBC's voter education activities especially in rural areas. He urged other stakeholders like churches to play a part by helping IEBC reach and educate the masses.

" In arid areas IEBC officers and other educators may not reach areas hit by banditry. But these people still come to church or are seeking shelter in church," he said. Maina urged all groups involved in voter education to together and pass the message of peace to voters.

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