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Voter mobilization efforts on election eve dominated by vuvuzelas and whistles

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By Judith Gicobi

On Tuesday, August 9, the night before the general election, Kenyans encouraged others to cast their votes by blowing whistles and vuvuzelas.

Youth were spotted on the streets early Tuesday morning as the lines swelled, and the sounds could be heard as early as 3 a.m. in different regions of the country.

A woman is shown in a clip that has since gone viral encouraging Kenyans to vote in the wee hours of the morning while blowing a vuvuzela in a Kakamega town suburb.

 

However, some Kenyans took offense at the clarion calls and brushed them off as noise pollution.

Azimio La Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga recently revitalized the “Firimbi” (whistle) movement, a drive for high voter turnout that he formerly utilized to mobilize support for his 2017 presidential campaign.

The campaign, popularly known as “Rauka” (Wake up early), was introduced as part of Azimio’s 15 million-vote campaign to win round one during a large rally held at the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega.

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“I want to hear an announcement after the elections that Baba and Mama are leading against Ruto and his deputy. Today I am launching a new chapter called the Firimbi movement,” Raila said to the crowd.

The initiative, according to Raila, is a call to action for his followers to cast their ballots for him and his running mate Martha Karua in huge numbers.

He then gave two examples of whistle blows, saying, “There are two instances where a whistle is blown, one is to wake people up so that they go and vote and another one to chase away thieves,”

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