Coast based civil societies groups have appealed to the government to lift the ongoing dusk to dawn curfew in Garissa,Tana River and Lamu counties to enable the residents exercise their voting rights without hinderance.
The more that 30 civil societies groups which met in Mombasa yesterday, raised concerns over the curfew saying it could disenfranchise voters and therefore urged the government to lift the curfew for five days to the polls to ensure voters enjoy their constitutional right.
Haki Africa Executive director Hussein Khalid said the 6pm to 6am curfew could could affect voter turn out and counting of votes.
“We fully support the curfew as well as the governments efforts to ensure that there is security during the electioneering period, however, we appeal to the government to suspend the curfew for five days, two prior to the voting exercise and three, after the voting exercise,” said Khalid.
He noted that election monitors in the area had raised alarm over police harassment and intimidation, if they were caught in the polling stations outside the time stipulated by the curfew.
“Some monitors deployed in the areas affected by the curfew have declined to go out to monitor the election exercise, due to the ongoing curfew and further claim that the voting exercise will not be fair and transparent since they will be unable to reach polling stations,” he said.
The civil societies raised alarm over low civic education on the voting exercise due to lack of funds.
They said the government had reduced funding on issues of civic education.