Machakos county deputy governor H.E Benard Kiala

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), there were about 3.9 million Kenyans of Kamba decent in 2009. Based on this census data, the number grew to approximately 4.6 million in 2016. A half of the population is aged 19 and above, according to the population structure. Therefore over 50% of these 4.6 million people are eligible for voter registration (2.3 million people).

In Machakos County alone, there were about 660,000 people eligible to register in 2016. However only about 500,000 are registered even after the mass voter registration campaign of 2016. This means that one in every four eligible persons in Machakos county have not registered to vote.

All sovereign power in Kenya belongs to the people. The sovereign power can be exercised by the people directly, or indirectly through their democratically elected representatives. This is according to Article 1 of the constitution.

Direct exercise of our sovereign power can be through public participation on  pertinent issues, if so facilitated by consultative regimes. These include public participation in development planning, annual budgeting, and drafting of laws and policies. The sovereign power can also be exercised directly through demonstrations and petitions as supported by article 37 of the constitution. Direct exercise of people’s sovereign power can be frustrated by an oppressive regime.

The nature of the regime exercising power on our behalf is determined through democratic elections. With our current laws, a Kenyan can only delegate their power to a preferred candidate if they are registered by IEBC as a voter. While voter registration has been continuing at IEBC constituency offices and will be suspended on May 10, there is a second mass voter registration campaign starting on January 16th which will not last over a month.

It has been proven in past election patterns that regional *voter registration percentages can single handedly determine Kenyan election results*. There is therefore an urgent need for every Kenyan aged 18 and above to register as a voter.  I appeal to all Machakos residents and Kenyans in general, each to sensitize their neighbors, friends and relatives; so that no eligible person is left out of the register. This will increase chances of delegating our power to a regime that genuinely works for our shared prosperity. _

Ithyoonthe Twose Kula, Tukilye Mbai Yitu!

Bernard Kiala – Deputy Governor, Machakos County