Elections are about garnering the highest number of votes and the opposition, under the leadership of Mr. Odinga is aware of this. My article seeks to substantiate what we all know; CORD cannot marshal enough votes to beat the Jubilee coalition as currently constituted. At least not without a miracle!
Article 88 of the Constitution mandates the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to regularly revise the voters register by adding eligible voters to the Principal Register and updating by deleting dead voters, effecting transfers and corrections. Unfortunately, Odinga and CORD are not taking this fact with the seriousness it deserves.
Early last month, an article on the IEBC website by CEO Ezra Chiloba laid out the apathy malady afflicting the opposition strongholds. A comparison of the 2009 census figures on the estimated population eligible to vote vis-à-vis the number of non-registered voters left a lot of questions that the opposition continues to avoid pondering over.
The percentages of non-registered voters in these counties are outlined: Kwale (43%), Kilifi (34%), Tana River (35%), Garissa (60%), Wajir (64%), Mandera (75%), Turkana (70%), Samburu (46%), West Pokot (55%), Trans Nzoia (39%), Baringo (34%), Narok (36%) and Kitui (31%). It should be noted here that none of these counties are presumed to be Jubilee strongholds.
The second headache for CORD is the counties with high populations but low voter registration. According to Mr. Chiloba, IEBC statistics listed these counties as: Bungoma (36%), Busia (27%), Kakamega (27%), Nandi (27%), Makueni (27%), Meru (24%), Migori (33%), Kisii (23%), Nyamira (21%), Siaya (20%) and Homabay (26%). With an exception of Nandi and Meru, all the remaining counties are presumed to be CORD strongholds. The voter turnout is even worse for CORD counties.
Comparing Kakamega County to Kiambu County; the population for Kakamega County as indicated by the 2009 census was 1,660,651 persons to Kiambu County’s 1,623,282 persons. The catch however, comes when we compare statistics for registered voters. Kakamega County boasted 567,460 voters to Kiambu County’s 861,829 voters. Whatever happened?
Although the mass voter registration by IEBC indicated a slightly higher number of new voters in the opposition stronghold, more voters have been registered in the Jubilee strongholds after the closure of the mass voter registration exercise than in CORD areas. How then does CORD intend to beat Jubilee fair and square without forcing a ‘nusu mkate’ once the inevitable happens?
The opposition MPs need to pull their act together and motivate voter registration first, then high voter turnout before complaining that the elections have been stolen. Tensions are high whenever IEBC protests are called. The country pulls apart with every aborted demonstration. However, the numbers remain the same; and so does the probability that the losing faction will blame it all on the electoral body. Mr Odinga, sir, this time around get your numbers right before disputing election results.
The writer is a Leadership and Social Development Consultant for Savic Consultants. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.