Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Voters lining up to vote
Elections for refugee leaders will be held the whole of this week before the elections people have to be trained on how to facilitate the elections.

The training was divided into three sessions.Session 1 was on safety and the facilitator was really nice she made the session really interesting and fun.........'if your instincts tell you that the situation is unsafe just stop the process and leave' the guys seated next to me are thinking if we get tired will just use our instincts feel unsafe and leave(how they wish this was possible).The second trainer had the most  difficult time as he tells us our work will be punching ration cards and I guess people are feeling offended what!!!!! with all these things we know how can our role be punching only The third facilitator tells us about the schedule and numbers.

After the training the elections kinda escape my mind and Monday morning first thing I see is the list of all the elections duties,polling stations and cars that will transport people crazy logistics involved (  31 land-cruisers,4 buses,2 pickups,11 portable generator and 2 trucks ).Monday Ifo 2 elections go down and over dinner the people who were in Ifo 2 tell all these stories about the election and that the person who has the hardest job is the one who'll be guiding the voters and especially for block and section leaders thank God I'm ballot issuing clerk,me being me I print out the election room flow chart,copy my radio call sign for the election and the vehicle I'll travel with,charge the radio and sleep early( we are all expected to assemble at the assembly point by 6 am)

Tuesday morning me super excited and ready for the election so as we were told carry water and something to eat and some cash(water,soda,cake and some cash all carried just in-case you never know but I'm trusting my instincts and I know everything will be fine).

Around 8.00 am we arrive at Wathajir primary school and the team leader does a de-brief and we discuss lessons that were learnt in Ifo 2  and how to do the process better today.We arrange ourselves and the elections begin.

The voters  line up in the lines according the sections/blocks that they lived in the camp and they get verified that they are in the register,their ration card is punched and they collect the voters card and  go to the voting rooms to vote
        Each voter got three ballot paper to vote with-block leader,section leader and camp leader.

Voting room drama

After an hour of giving ballot papers I figure let me see how the voter room is.Once I get in I'm unable to get out as apparently the people who were doing the voter assistance need some more people.So I spend a big part of the day doing voter guiding.
Most voters are not sure who they want to vote for as block and section leaders so they'll come and ask for names of candidates who aren't vying then they'll always vote  for the person who had more ballots in their box :-) tyranny of numbers in play .Others wanted their candidate to win so badly and they would try and stuff all their ballots into their box and its for me to explain that all those ballots will be spoilt except for 1 and from the look on their faces it didn't look like they were convinced.Then there are those tricky candidates who'll stand at the door to ensure everyone they knew voted for them.

We close the polling station at around 6 PM and we are all so tired but happy.I pity the people who have to do this everyday of the election period but I'm sure at the end of the elections they'll be the proudest for making this event a success