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Most outrageous ploys Jubilee-Cord are using to gain ‘tyranny of numbers’

As the month-long mass voter registration exercise began on Monday, calls by Kenyan politicians to have voters registering themselves – more so in their perceived strongholds – have gone overdrive.

In their quest to gain that decisive tyranny of numbers that they hope will see them forming the next government, both Jubilee and the opposition politicians have come up with clever ways to have eligible voters registering themselves for the August polls.

While the whole idea is well meaning, some of the recommendations are downright outrageous.

1. Denial of conjugal rights – In Mombasa county, women representative, Mishi Mboko, has asked women to use all kinds of strategies to coerce their spouses get voters’ card – including denying them their conjugal rights, if that is what it takes.

2. No voters’ card, no county services – In Vihiga County, Governor Moses Akaranga, has issued a decree that will see those residents without voter cards not being served by the county government. Anyone seeking services from the county 10 departments in Vihiga will first have to show proof of being a registered voter.

3. Want some booze? Show me your voters’ card first – In Murang’a, residents who do not have a voter’s card will not be allowed to enjoy their favourite alcoholic drinks in the county from next week, bar and hotel owners have said.

James Waweru, the chairman of the business owners’ association, said the members wants to be active participants in the voter registration process. Mr Waweru said they will be demanding to see a voter’s card from anybody entering their premises, adding that no one will be allowed to drink without showing they are registered voters.

“Just like you cannot drive without a driving licence, then you cannot drink without a voter’s card, hakuna starehe bila kura (no entertainment without a voter’s card),” he said.

4. Funerals/weddings to become mini registration centers – At the coast, voter’s registration will be done at funerals, weddings and palm wine drinking joints if the Coast Parliamentary Group have their way. Speaking in Kilifi on Thursday, the group’s chairman Gunga Mwinga said this would help the commission to net more eligible voters ahead of the August polls. He said the registration had to go to where many people gather.

5. No Holy Communion without Voters card – In Embu an Anglican priest has threatened to deny his faithful the Holy Communion, unless they showed proof to being registered voters. Reverend Isaiah Njagi, who is the chaplain to the Embu ACK Bishop, said the faithful would be required to produce their voters’ card before they partook in the sacrament. He said the rules would take effect from Easter period and would continue until election date.