Back in September last year, the UK Daily, otherwise known as the Daily Nation run a story noting Uhuru’s TNA had registered the highest number of members and following that story, a netter started a thread on various Kenyan forums with the headline “Attn. Omwenga” in which they were gleeful about the supposed better performance by TNA in member registration.
In response to the netter, I stated,
I posted the following comment at the UK Daily where this story first appeared; for what it’s worth, the story was first brought to my attention by a good friend from Kiambu who I find more fired up and ready to go to bat for Raila than people whose job is to be fired and ready to go to bat for the PM:Not that it’s irrelevant, it’s not the party with the largest number of registered voters that matters but which party has the largest number of voters across the country that does.TNA having 153,000 members all from the former Central, ditto for Martha Karua having 64,644 from same place or Ruto having 108,124 all from Uasin Gishu and so on is really not something to write home about.However, it’s disturbing and is one more good reason why we need a limitation of political parties to less than five because by these statistics, the top 10 parties by registration of members have less than 30% of the total number of the various registered political parties, which means we have hundreds of parties registered but for what?
Let’s hope the new Parliament and President addresses this issue for we certainly don’t need that many parties, not even close to that number.
I have since posted a response to someone commenting on my comment:
Yes I am aware of the constitutional requirements. That only means at Kshs 1000 each (Moi’s # adjusted for inflation), anyone who has lined up their pockets from the public till can easily buy 24,000 votes.So, it doesn’t mean that a party has nationwide appeal or following merely because it has the required minimum number of registered members in each county.
All I am saying is you have to look beyond these numbers to know the real story; are they all from the expected strong-holds or are they from across the nation such as ODM’s are and none of the other parties; at least not in comparative strength and how many of those are genuine and don’t tell me they are simply because they are accepted by IEBC for we know there are documented cases of double registration and illegal registration of people who have not consented to such registration.
That being said, what we all should watch out for is actual registration of new voters and ensuring the integrity of the register role.
A party that is serious about winning must make sure as many of its supporters and target constituencies are registered as possible and actually show up to vote. Failure to tend to this simple age old staple of democracies shall be a sure way for a party to lose elections.
In sum, there is nothing nothing here to get excited about unless you know or have all the data and I am sure the date will confirm what I am saying here and that is all these parties except for ODM have their party rolls completely filled with members from their strong-holds many of whom are double registered or illegally registered.
Besides, what is there exciting about a party having less than 6% of the total number of all registered members of the various types, yet that’s exactly what the TNA numbers represent?
A friend and strong supporter of Raila/Cord not too long ago sent an email to me and a few other supporters lamenting that ODM had done very poorly in spearheading the registration of voters this time around, especially in its strongholds compared to TNA.
My response to him was I was equally concerned but remain confident even with the current registration, Raila and Cord is better positioned to win across the country.
Even as I said so, I did wish ODM had done better in boosting registration in its strongholds if anything to provide a comfortable margin of victory.
A few days ago, I received an email from someone at home who very closely follows the goings on there noting the following:
It seems like we were wrong in thinking that Cord had not got its voters to register in large numbers. Apparently many from Nyanza and Western and Ukambani who would normally register in their rural homes – because of the short registration period – took their registration cards in Nairobi; which is why Nairobi registered over 100% of the IEBC’s projected number of voters.
What this means is that for the first time since independence, the Kikuyu voters will be in a minority in the city – the Kikuyu are about 40% of Nairobi voters now, and the Kalenjin have no Nairobi vote to speak of – and only a disastrous quarrel among Cord nominees for Nairobi seats will create any opportunity for them.
This is a very refreshing thought and fact.
It also makes the governorship of Nairobi very interesting–but that’s the subject of another blog in the pipeline.
For now, it’s good to know Cord is in good shape, given the foregoing keen observation by my friend.
The key now for Cord is to simply mobilize and fire up the voters–even those in “enemy” territory to vote for Raila and Cord and no one is better in doing that than Raila.
He is also the better candidate and by far among those vying for the presidency.
This is not just saying it because I strongly support him and Cord; it’s a fact anyone objectively analyzing the candidates must also concur.
Go Raila/Cord, go!