In Summary
  • Most voters in the capital, unlike rural areas, are also more aware of their voting rights and enjoy wide media coverage.
  • But Embakasi South by-election, also held on April 5, recorded the lowest voter turn-out in the four by-elections, with only 20 per cent of the registered voters participating in the exercise.
  • In the Kibra by-election on Thursday, which was occasioned by the death of the incumbent representative Ken Okoth in June, only 35.36 per cent of the registered came out to vote.

Voter apathy in Nairobi is on the rise if the turnout in the last four parliamentary by-elections is anything to go by.

In the city mini elections, areas outside Nairobi, including a constituency in Wajir County that borders Somalia, recorded a surprisingly better voter turnout.

At 63.91 per cent, Wajir West recorded the highest voter turnout yet in all the four exercises conducted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

HIGH NUMBERS

After the Supreme Court overturned the election of Ahmed Kolosho in January, constituents of Wajir West went to the ballot in April. Kolosho retained the seat.

A total of 17, 706 voters cast their ballots, out of 27, 544 registered voters in the constituency.

Local leaders argued that turnout would have been higher had it not been for the drought that ravaged the county, forcing the locals, majority of whom are pastoralists, to move away from their homes in search of pasture and water for their livestock.

In Ugenya Constituency, Siaya County, a total of 33,936 were cast in the April 5 by-election, representing a 57.99 per cent, the second highest turn-out in the four by-elections. 

Still, this was a 24 per cent decline from the 82 per cent voter turn-out in the 2017 General Election.

The situation is very different in Nairobi, where concentration of voters and polling stations is very high.

Most voters in the capital, unlike rural areas, are also more aware of their voting rights and enjoy wide media coverage.

But Embakasi South by-election, also held on April 5, recorded the lowest voter turn-out in the four by-elections, with only 20 per cent of the registered voters participating in the exercise.

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