Kenyans in US Give Polls Boss Hard Time
Chief electoral officer James Oswago fended off a barrage of criticism as he assured Kenyans in the diaspora that they would be accorded their right to vote.
Mr Oswago stood his ground amid criticism from participants at the Kenya Diaspora Conference in Arlington, Virginia, to explain the steps the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had taken to ensure Kenyans in the US exercised the right to vote.
He explained that Kenyans in the US would be registered from the beginning of November at embassies in Washington and the United Nations in New York, and the consulate in Los Angeles, which will also be voting centres on March 4, next year, the General Election date.
The diaspora voters can only take part in the presidential election. However, dissatisfied participants demanded more voting centres to reflect the distribution of the Kenyan population in the US.
The problem, Mr Oswago said, was that the electoral commission had no reliable data on where Kenyans live in the US and queries at the embassy had drawn a blank.
However, the conference was presented with approximate distribution figures by Ms Angela Ambitho of Infotrak, who presented the first ever diaspora opinion poll.
An academic at Bowling Green State University, Prof Kefa Otiso, also presented data which he said had been shared with the embassy, saying he was surprised it had not been passed on to the IEBC.
According to the figures, most Kenyans in the US are in Texas at 14 per cent and California at 10 per cent.
Maryland/Massachusetts has seven per cent, with significant concentrations in Georgia and Minnesota, each six per cent and New Jersey/Washington DC region four per cent.
In what might be bad news for presidential hopefuls who have been globe-trotting in search of diaspora votes and funding, the Infotrak poll says half of Kenyans in the US have no intention of contributing to their campaigns.
The poll shows that only one in every four Kenyans is willing to give money to boost their favourite candidate’s campaign.
The other quarter is yet to decide whether they will contribute or not. The September 23-October 1 study, covered all the American states and had 1,104 respondents. It was done online.
There is also good news in the poll as 99 per cent want to choose Kenya’s next president.
Source: Daily Nation
Good job, Mwakilishi. This is the kind of news that is relevant and usable. Keep it up.
I like that point, "In what might be bad news for presidential hopefuls who have been globe-trotting in search of diaspora votes and funding, the Infotrak poll says half of Kenyans in the US have no intention of contributing to their campaigns.
The poll shows that only one in every four Kenyans is willing to give money to boost their favourite candidate’s campaign." Here in US live is hard, our hard earned money is better for our family back home, not for MPigs. Kwenda Kabisa.
It's all about our remittances, that's why we are getting a lot of attention from the government, financial institutions, real estates. Do not be fooled that the government genuinely cares for your rights as a Kenyan.
Well done fellow Diasporians! This is why the Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA), Federation of about 20 of some of the larger Diaspora organizations has gone to court to demand for meaningful Diaspora participation in the forthcoming elections. Mention date is 18th October, 2012.
A team of lawyers, led by Hons Paul Muite, Gitobu Imanyara and James Kounah are doing a tremendous job. But as Diaspora and Friends of Diaspora, we need to raise resources for legal and administrative court fees. US$5, 10, 20 ... KSh 500, 1,000, ... welcome. Eligible Diaspora are also encouraged to sign up at http://kenyansabroadvote.com/. Aluta continua.
Just got a few points on your statements which is a welcome move.
- So long as you are a Kenyan, you are eligible and no question about it coz every Kenyan got a passport.
- Legal court fee should be known and published in an open figure.(Tell us it is KShs.0,000.00 and not in US$ which no one will send and total collected.) Rest will be history to tell.