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Hitches reported as voter registration kicks off

20 November 2012, 10:58 Dennis Omido

The much awaited voter registration exercise kicked off successfully but hitches were experienced at some registration centers.

In kibera Constituency, residents began to flock in the voter registration centers as early as 8.00 am as the officials began to set up the machines.

 It then emerged that the power required by the machine in order to function effectively was not sufficient.

 “I came in the morning but it looked like all was not set. This being the first day, I just had to wait,” Hussein Abdala explains .

Just like Abdala, Joyce Ratemo also arrived at the centre at 9.00 am but was registered at 12.00 pm.

She says, “I was told that there was a problem with electricity and was asked to wait.”

It took the Voter Registration Assistants (VRA) of those centers several hours to solve the problem.

At around 11.00 am, the exercise kicked off, but then came another problem; the malfunctioning of some of the machines.

The residents queued to be registered using one kit that was faulty and required the input of the technical team.

Although it was working, there were delays as the other machines were being checked. 

The machine took too long to capture finger print details as people were forced to press it heavily.

Some people even used tissue papers and handkerchiefs to wipe their hands so that the machine could capture their finger details.

At around 1.00 pm a few people had been registered as voters.

Some expressed their joy of being registered electronically as voters for the first time.

They carried a peace message to all Kenyans as the country prepares for the March polls.

“We are happily registering as voters, and we want the same to happen during the voting and when the results will be announced, let us forget the past and ask God to bless Kenya,” says Halima Dafala.

“Many people have feared to register as voters because of what happened in 2007/8. I would like to urge IEBC to promote civic education so that they may change their mind. The voter registration exercise will have to be extended because the machines are working slowly, or else, they will not reach the required target,” says Harun Mohamed.

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