By Charity Mutheu
Daystar University held the first M-Vote Breakfast yesterday that was attended by the M-KURA mobile application founder, Michael Nduati.
M-Kura is voting software developed in Kenya where “M” stands for mobile and ‘Kura” is a Swahili word for Vote. “M-Kura aims at bringing in more women and girls to vote and also special groups who would not necessarily make it to the ballot. Providing voter education with voting, voter education will inform the voter of whom they are voting for and his track record thus ensuring voter makes an informed choice and not blind voting / block-voting as it is rife.” Said Nduati
he also added that “Our greatest challenge as per now is the penetration of mobile phones, currently in Kenya the penetration is 88%. But as per next year there is a speculation by research that mobile penetration in Kenya will be 100%.”
M-Kura had the opportunity to participate in the Nation Media Group Competition dubbed “The Next Big Thing” but was eliminated because of finances.
Speaking at the M-Kura breakfast the secretary general of Kenya Diaspora Association Mila Menga said that this was a great initiative and would love to work with M-Kura as they had the same goal of reaching out to voters in diaspora, which meant that people in diaspora will be easily engaged in the voting process in an effective and convenient manner through mobile voting.
The acceptance of this new invention has faced few challenges. One of them being that it is vulnerable to hacking therefore results can be easily manipulated. Though this can be controlled by installing a security software which is quite expensive. But the benefits of mobile voting still remain unbeaten by the challenges.
Mobile voting has many benefits both to the voter and the country at large; Queue less voting, paperless voting – going green, faster results relaying, wider reach of voters including Diaspora and it is cheaper to run making it good for both the voter and government.