• Friday, 01 March 2024
Murang'a county youths say they will not vote, blame selfish leaders

Murang'a county youths say they will not vote, blame selfish leaders

Youths in Murang'a county have said they will not vote on August 9 as they are fed up with being used by politicians.

Ann Njeri, a fruits vendor, said though she is registered as a voter, she will not be casting her vote in the general election.

This, she said, is because she has not seen a major positive impact made by the leaders she voted for in 2017.

She added that life has only got worse for her and her five-year-old son whom she struggles to raise alone.

“I understand why many youths are failing to register as voters and many more who are registered may end up keeping off the election,” she said.

John Kimani, a boda boda operator, said he cannot waste his time casting his vote as it will not change his life.

He added that on election day, he will be busy ferrying people to the polling stations in a bid to increase his earnings.

In 2017, Kimani said boda boda operators used their resources to go round the estates surrounding Murang’a town waking people up so that they can go and cast their votes.

“We spent the night in Murang’a town and Mukuyu market in excitement and could not wait for dawn to vote in our leaders.”

Kimani said their efforts, however, did not translate to any change of fortunes for them, decrying the high cost of living which he said has sunk dozens of families into poverty.

“I don’t see why I would invest such time and energy in the elections process anymore. It benefits me more to work and provide for my family.  If I don’t sleep that day, it will be because I will be working and I plan to make a killing.” 

Margaret Wanjiru, who is employed in a retail shop in Murang'a town, however, said she will be voting and expressed hopes that the next crop of leaders will not disappoint the residents, again. 

“I hope my effort to wake up early to go vote will not be in vain,” she said.

Daniel Muturi, a youth leader, said it is unfortunate that many youths are uninterested in participating in the elections.

“If you ask them why they are not registered, they will tell you they are fed up with queuing for long hours only to vote in leaders who only care for themselves,” he said

 “But I tell that that bad leaders can only be removed by voting in good,” he added.

Muturi urged residents to keenly vet leaders to break the cycle of disappointments and called for the political leadership of the county to do more lobbying for people to vote in the coming polls. 

According to the county elections manager Joseph Mukewa, only 18,080 new voters were registered in the second phase of mass registrations.

This represents 30 per cent of the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission's target of 156,632 people.

Kangema has registered 1,723 voters, Mathioya 1, 390, Kiharu 4,421, Kigumo 2,073, Kandara 2,584, Gatanga 2,818 while Maragua registered 3,071 people.

Mukewa said the county already had 612,760 registered voters before the mass registration exercise and appealed to youths to continue getting registered in the commission’s offices in the constituencies.

“Anybody who is not registered has until February 28 to do so before the registers are closed for verification,” he said.

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