News / Africa

US Election to Inspire Better Organized Kenya Vote, Says Official

Voters read the a sample ballot as they wait in line to cast their vote in Hialeah, Florida, November 6, 2012.Voters read the a sample ballot as they wait in line to cast their vote in Hialeah, Florida, November 6, 2012.
x
Voters read the a sample ballot as they wait in line to cast their vote in Hialeah, Florida, November 6, 2012.
Voters read the a sample ballot as they wait in line to cast their vote in Hialeah, Florida, November 6, 2012.
Peter Clottey
An official of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says lessons learned from the U.S. election will help improve preparations for Kenya’s general election scheduled for March 4 of next year.

IEBC Commissioner Ambassador Yusuf Nzibo monitored the vote Tuesday in the U.S. states of Virginia and Maryland as well as the District of Columbia.

Ambassador Nzibo described the voting during an interview with VOA after monitoring the polling places.

“What we’ve noticed is that in D.C., people come and say who they are and they are allowed to get a ballot. You have a choice of either electronic or manual voting,” said Nzibo.

“Here in Fairfax County, Virginia, the cue was very long and they are using only one hall for voting,” Nzibo said. “Whereas in my country, we would have streamed people in different classrooms, with an average of between 350 and 400 people so that the cues can move fast.”

He says there is need for Kenyans to develop the culture of tolerance and peaceful co-existence in all election activities in the run up to next year’s vote.

Nzibo said lessons learned from monitoring the U.S. election would help the IEBC improve its preparations for next year’s vote.

“The issue is the question of the laws,” he said. “For example, I have seen a lady who is disabled, she was in the car; she was unable to come to the voting room so the ballot was taken to her to vote by the officer. That would not have happened in Kenya. We would have had to carry the lady to the polling booth for her to vote.”

“People are very calm and it’s like a Sunday, they are out talking to each other. There is no tension and I have not seen a police car or policemen around the school and it is peaceful. I think that is one thing we can pick that elections are not matters of life and death.”

Nzibo said Kenya also can save money on elections by learning from the U.S. electoral system, which he said, enables volunteers to work as election officials during polls.

“What impressed me is that at home, we spend a lot of money recruiting poll officials, [but] here is much more of people volunteering as a community responsibility to be allowed to come and conduct the election,” he said.

“You don’t see people standing outside asking for bribes. I mean it is unheard of here, people cuing outside in order to be bribed to vote," he added.

Some Kenyans expressed worries that the IEBC has been unable to educate enough citizens to ensure there is no repeat of the 2007-2008 post-election violence. An estimated 1,133 people were killed in the violence and more than 663,000 displaced following those elections.

“I think it’s just developing a culture of democracy where people accept that elections are an everyday affair ad that it has to be conducted peacefully that people have to self-regulate themselves and that party campaigning cannot be nasty to the point where it would cause deaths,” said Nzibo.

“We need to develop this culture of tolerance, culture of peaceful elections and campaigning peacefully and electing our leaders in an orderly manner.”

Nzibo expressed concerns about distrust in electoral systems in Africa, which he said, creates tension and divisions.

“There is so much mistrust in our system, across the continent, that we spend so much money on security issues, spend so much money on security features on the ballot papers,” Nzibo said.

Clottey interview with Ambassador Yusuf Nzibo, Kenya electoral officer
Clottey interview with Ambassador Yusuf Nzibo, Kenya electoral officeri
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid