The National Peace and Mediation Team (NPMT) has noted the low voter turnout in yesterday’s voting exercise terming the voter turnout as the lowest so far in the nation’s history. In a press briefing, the team observed that only about 56.17% of registered voters turned up to vote. The team further noted delays in the opening of polling stations which may have caused voters to go back home without having cast their vote. Other observations made by the team included delayed communication by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in areas where elections were postponed due to various reasons including security. The team also noted failure of the KIMS kits in some of the stations thus delaying the voting exercise. Observers from the ICRK noted that the KIMS failure mostly affected women, manual workers and the elderly. The team, however, noted that the IEBC authorized the use of the manual registers.
In the briefing, the team commended Kenyans for observing peace during the election. However, the team observed that there were isolated incidences of violence in different regions of the country. The team also bemoaned cases of violence against women with data collected by the Women’s Situation Room showing that there were about 200 cases of violence against women candidates, agents and voters with physical violence being the most reported. As a result, the team urged relevant authorities to take the necessary action. Further, the team urged Kenyans to allow the IEBC to do their work and to maintain calm and restraint.
The NPMT and the WSR are initiatives Of the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK) aimed at maintaining peace during elections. This year, the IRCK has set up two centers at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Nairobi where monitors and observes stationed all over the country can send real time data on the voting and tallying exercises. The data is then synthesized and sent to relevant authorities.
The IRCK has also released phone numbers where people can call to report any incidents.
In case of any incident, you can reach the situation room via 0784301823 or 0782098785 or 0795592627
Featured Image: Kenyans waiting to vote early Tuesday morning. Photo||Luis Tato/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images