By Frank Muchugu
Most people use their cell phones to call, text or browse the internet. A small number use them to get consumer information.
One high school student wants you to use your phone to vote in 2017.
Clinton Nyamweya, an 18-year-old form four student at Nyansiongo High School in Nyamira county, was always concerned how people queued for hours to vote.
“From my childhood I have been asking myself several question concerning voting, for example, why do people line up in long queues during voting, why do policemen stand with guns guarding polling stations, why use paper voting system, why people fight at polling stations and several other questions,” he said.
That is when he came up with a solution to all his questions. The solution was M-Vote, a mobile application from which registered voters can pick their president, MP, and governor among others.
He first presented this idea at the 2014 school science congress and went to the national level. He showcased his idea and even got more ideas from his audience.
M-vote eases the voting process that many Kenyans eschew due to fear of long queues at the polling station and unruly election officers.
It also renders the malfunctioning biometric voter registration kits unnecessary.
Voters can register using their phone number.
“You are required to produce your national identification card or passport so that the agents can capture your other information like your photo and fingerprints.
“You are also supposed to enter your county, constituency and ward so that you can vote for all positions contested for in the election,” Nyamweya said.
After registration users will get a secret code to use during election. “This code will be private and confidential thus can be mentioned or kept safely,” he says.
Being his first invention, there are bound to be some setbacks. One of the questions raised is what happens if a voter dies? Can somebody maliciously use their dead relatives phone and illegally vote?
Nyamweya says: “In the case that someone has died before the election period, agents will review the database months before the election thus know the number of people who will vote.”
“On secrecy of the code, it all depends on the user not to go against the terms and conditions as the code will only be given to him/her. Those without mobile phones will have to go to the polling station and vote from there.”
Nyamweya encourages other youth to venture into creativity and innovation for them to succeed in this century.
He says M-Vote represents just but a tiny possibility of mobile phones, which he predicts will in future be used to do practically anything.
Currently, one of the most popular mobile innovations in Kenya is M-Pesa, through which people use to operate as personal bank accounts. It also helps people transfer money to others all over the country.
“More applications are being built where we see the mobile phone becoming a multi-gadget that can be used in easing the daily lives of people,” he says.
*Source Allafrica/The Star