MPs decry low voter listing by IEBC

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati

By: Samuel Kimani  @MountKenyaTimes

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) now says Kenyans can update their voting details at any of the 52 Huduma Centres across the country.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati told Members of Parliament in the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee yesterday that Kenyans don’t have to travel to their home areas to change their voter registration details or register as voters for the upcoming election.

“Equipping Huduma Centers and institutions of higher learning with Bio-metric Voter Registration (BVR) kits is intended to save Kenyans from the trouble of traveling as they will be able to select a registration center of their choice from wherever they will be,” Chebukati told the Committee.

“Voter transfers, however, would have to be approved at the constituency level,” he said.

Chebukati said this is to ensure that the returning officer has confirmed the voter moving to a new area and has stayed in the constituency for six months.

The poll agency boss noted that the commission staffs are equally going round the wards to mobilize locals to register.

The commission identified 27,241 registration centres which form basis of registration areas in the wards.

At least 7,722 BVR kits have been deployed with each of the 1450 wards having an equal number of kits.

IEBC data shows that seven counties from the region’s 10 are among the those with the lowest percentages of the new voter targets.

The electoral agency targets between six and seven million new voters in the drive initiated on October 4.

The target was disaggregated to each County, Constituency and County Ward to enable monitoring of the progress.

According to Chebukati, the exercise faced challenges of voter apathy.

MPs dismissed attempts by the poll agency to blame the voter apathy and Kenyan’s peculiar habit of doing things at the last minute.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Central backyard reported the lowest turnout in the ongoing mass voter listing.

Whereas IEBC targets to list over 385,000 new voters in Kiambu, only 2,334 was recorded in the first week, translating to one percent.

Nyeri recorded 1,915 out of the target of 148,995 voters – one per cent. Nyandarua recorded 1,495 from a county target of 109,652 new voters.

Samburu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Wajir, West Pokot and Mandera were listed as counties with the highest percentage of new voter registration targets.

There are concerns that politicians might be moving voters from other regions considering the over 5,200 voter transfer requests IEBC received in the past seven days.

The commission will also conduct mass voter registration for the diaspora in December this year.

IEBC will include six more countries in its diaspora list among them South Sudan, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Africa participated in the 2017 General election.

The only requirement to register as a voter is that one must be a Kenyan citizen with a national identification card or valid passport.

The individual must present themselves to a registration officer for the capture of bio-metric features and personal identifiable details

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