Low voter turnout in today’s Mombasa governorship poll has been attributed to the move by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to postpone the exercise from August 9 to 29.
Various candidates and leaders interviewed by KNA have cited confusion and demoralisation of voters following the two times postponement of the polls by IEBC.
Though polling centres opened at 6.am, low voter turnout was evident within the region which has over 600,000 registered voters. For instance, In Nyali constituency which has 195 polling centres and over 124,000 registered voters, the polling stations remained deserted.
The same scenario was reported in the remaining five constituencies of Kisauni, Mvita, Likoni, Jomvu and Changamwe.
ODM gubernatorial aspirant Abdulswamad Nassir who cast his vote at Mvita primary school at around 9am said that many voters were demoralised by the previous experience on the August 9 general elections where polling stations were opened late.
“I am optimistic that as the day progresses, people will come out in large numbers and elect their governor. We did a lot of sensitisation on the new dates and we are sure that our patriotic citizens of Mombasa will come out and exercise their democratic right,” said Nassir.
On his part, UDA gubernatorial aspirant Hassan Sarai said that the low voter turnout will eventually end as the day progresses.
Jomvu MP elect Badi Twalib has urged Mombasa residents to come out and vote for the best candidate if they need development in the region.
Twalib lauded the security personnel and members of the public for upholding peace throughout the process.
“Residents have high hopes in their new governor who is yet to be elected, we therefore ask people to come out and vote for the right leader in Mombasa,” added Badi.
Geoffrey Ogutu an ODM party agent in World Bank primary school polling station in Jomvu constituency said that the voting system has been smooth with the Kiems-kit functioning well.
He however noted that there was a challenge in the arrangement of names of voters as per their first alphabetical letters whereby some were getting confused but they sorted the issue out.
“We are trying to mobilise people to come out and vote. The turnout has been affected by the postponement of the election and the ongoing presidential election petition at the supreme court,” said Ogutu.
By Chari Suche