President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday launched a direct appeal to Nyeri youth to register as voters as former Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces Julius Karangi held a crisis meetings with leaders in the county over low numbers recorded.
Only 30,000 voters have registered in Nyeri against a target of 130,000 with a week to go.
This is the lowest rate in any of Jubilee’s strongholds.
“Please do not wait until the last minute. The BVR (biometric voter registration) machine can only register 80 people a day,” said the President in a message released on social media written in Kikuyu.
His efforts came as Gen Karangi, who is also the Kenya Airports Authority chairman, took over the mobilisation drive from Health Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri.
Interestingly, Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua also attended the meeting where she drummed up support for President Kenyatta’s re-election.
During the meeting at GreenHills hotel on Monday, Nyeri leaders accused Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries sent to the region to mobilise voters of misusing the Sh80 million meant for the exercise by spending it in hotels and other luxuries.
“We cannot be spending money in hotels yet the youths mobilising voters are going hungry,” said the aspirants.
Elected leaders and aspirants also accused the team of favouring one side.
Mr Karangi yesterday called for aspirants and leaders to conduct a joint drive.
A joint secretariat will also be set up to spearhead the final days of the campaign under the watch of Mr Karangi.
However, most elected leaders from the county were conspicuously absent from the meeting despite receiving an invite with only three MPs: Kanini Kega (Kieni), Ndung’u Gethenji (Tetu) and Priscilla Nyokabi (woman representative), showing up.
The new secretariat will include representatives from all parties involved, a move geared at ending disgruntlement among the teams.
In the new formula, campaigners will carry out a door to door drive and minimise the traditional roadshows in town centres.
“If you want to hire trucks and move around town shouting, that is fine. But be sure it will not work. We are starting a door to door campaign immediately and we will do it as a team,” he said.
Gen Karangi was flanked by Information and Technology CS Joe Mucheru, Mr Muraguri and Kikuyu Council of Elders national chair Wachira Kiago.