Kenya: Allow Inmates to Vote in General Elections, State Urged

A philanthropist based in Isiolo, Mr Mwenda Thuranira, has asked the government to allow inmates participate in next year's General Elections while they continue serving their sentences.

He said the prisoners, like other Kenyans, should be allowed to fully participate in the country's electoral process of voting in leaders of their choice.

Inmates were only allowed to vote for the President in the 2017 General Elections and not for other elective posts.

"The inmates should be allowed to elect leaders of their choice because they are the ones who will represent them while in and out of jail," said Mr Mwenda.

Electoral policies

Parliament, he said, should introduce electoral policies to ensure the rights of all voters including those convicted of various crimes.

"Permanently stripping them of the right to vote because of their crimes will make them feel lesser Kenyans," he noted.

Mr Thuranira spoke while distributing toiletries and personal effects to inmates at the Isiolo GK Prison in bid to cushion them from the biting effects of Covid-19.

No visitors

The prisoners have been grappling with lack of the items as their friends and families are not allowed to visit them in measures meant to stem the spread of pandemic at the correctional facility.

"The items will go a long way in making us comfortable because we have been suffering as no one is allowed to visit us due to Covid-19," Titus Mugambi, a prisoner, said.

The Isiolo philanthropist asked the county and national governments to set aside funds for assisting small scale traders who had shut down their businesses due to Covid-19 to get back on their feet. He added that the government should introduce measures to revive the adversely affected economy.

He welcomed President Uhuru Kenyatta's lifting of the partial lockdown in the counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Nakuru, Machakos and Kiambu, saying it will breathe life into the regions and ensure improved livelihoods.

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