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

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora