Chebukati Cancels Registration of Diaspora Voters
By D S
IEBC has cancelled the registration of diaspora voters, except in four countries: Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Africa. He blames the cancellation on logistics and time constraints.
This is not only ill-advised, but an unfair and flagrant infringement on the right to vote for some of our compatriots who are overseas.
For starters, the diaspora community has been vocal on national issues and they have taken an active role in the clamor for good governance, accountability, equality, and the rule of law. They have been at the forefront calling the government to account when things seemed to or actually went haywire. They are the people we, back here, often resort to when we need funds to airlift some of our friends and relatives to receive specialized care in foreign countries. They are in every way part of us, for us, and with us.
Therefore, to arbitrarily cancel their registration to vote is a serious manifestation of ingratitude as well as a grave violation of their right to vote.
More, they are a constituency most likely to make the most prudent choice during elections since they are immune to the chicanery and shenanigans of the politicians back at home. We understand that all too often democracy is undermined by bribery and ethnicity: the same doesn’t seem to affect diaspora voters. Voters in the diaspora take ideologies and values seriously, thankfully.
And do you know the number we are talking about? A whopping three million voters!
Yes, Kenyans living abroad are a whopping 3,000,000!
Now, 3,000,000 votes are far more than enough to make the difference between a presidential winner and loser. In the last election, the difference margin between the presidential victor and his closest competitor was about a measly 800,000 votes. That means if we deny the diaspora constituency the right to vote, then we are undermining democracy as well