Kabogo, Koimburi raise concern about low voter turnout in Kiambu
A low voter turnout in various parts of Kiambu county has raised concern among members of the public and candidates for various seats.
Observers attributed this to voter apathy that may have been caused by the fact that the region does not have a hugh-profile presidential contender as President Uhuru Kenyatta exits office.
That development may be a drawback for UDA presidential candidate, Deputy President William Ruto, who enjoys a sizeable following in Central Kenya.
Governor candidate William Kabogo (pictured) and Juja MP George Koimburi (UDA) were particularly worried by the apparent failure by the youth to turn out at polling centres.
Similarly, Ruiru MP Simon King’ara (UDA) voiced concern over the low number of recorded at polling stations by mid-morning in the vast constituency which has over 172,000 registered voters.
“I hope our people will come out and vote. Otherwise the turnout is low this time compared to 2017,” said Kabogo after casting his vote at St George’s Primary School in Ruiru.
King’ara, who had voted at Ruiru Boys Secondary School, said the process was initially slowed down by confusion over name listing in which people queued only to find they were in the wrong polling station.
Koimburi, who voted at Magomano Primary in Theta ward, said in comparison to last year’s by-election yesterday’s voting was slow and hoped the numbers would increase before close of business.
“Failure by the youth to turn out may be attributed to the possibility that many did not register as voters or they don’t have identify cards,” Koimburi said.
Kiambu County Woman Rep candidate Gladys Chania (Jubilee) had expressed similar concerns over low turnout after she voted at Joytown Secondary School in Thika.
“We have noticed that the youth did not take part in the exercise in many areas. I think this is because a good number of them are not serious,” said Chania. However, Thika Town parliamentary candidate David Ngari Gakuyo (Jubilee) who voted at Gatuanyaga Primary School said the turnout was good in the area.
Kiambu governor candidate Patrick Wainaina, alias Wa Jungle, (Independent) cast his vote at Kiboko Primary School in Thika while his running mate Ann Nyokabi Gatheca voted at St George’s Primary School.
Wainaina said only about 45 per cent of voters in the area had cast their votes. He blamed the apathy on the prevailing economic situation.
This view was supported by Jon Chege, a Thika boda boda rider who said a lot of youth who are hard hit by the cost of living could not get time to go and vote.
“I would rather go and fend for my young family, instead of going to elect people who will not help me,” said Chege.