NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 1 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has dismissed claims by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) that it provided an incomplete voter register ahead of the November 7 Kibra by-election.
IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati says they provided a complete register with the full names of the voters, identification numbers (truncated), polling station numbers and voter registration numbers.
According to IEBC, 118,658 voters are registered in Kibra, a figure ODM has disputed.
Chebukati Thursday said the poll agency takes exception to the ‘unfounded and untruthful allegations’ by ODM party in respect to the unsubstantiated claims on deletion and addition of names to the Kibra register of voters.
“We sternly caution party officials to cease and desist from deliberately misleading voters and the general. The Commission is committed to provide a level playing field for all candidates and political parties and will not be intimidated as it endeavors to fulfill its constitutional mandate,” Chebukati said in his response to ODM’s threat to mobilize a march to the IEBC offices should the pol agency fail to release a complete voter register within 24 hours.
ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna issued the ultimatum on Thursday while demanding that IEBC comes clear of reports that the voter register had been doctored to favour the governing Jubilee Party’s candidate, McDonald Mariga.
“That the IEBC should come clear on the issue of the deletion of people’s names from the voter register, transfer of voters from a polling station to another and the addition of new voters into the voter register.”
“On October 24, the Commission released an incomplete register, making the whole exercise a charade. A complete register must have the full name of a voter, his/her polling station and ID number,” Sifuna demanded.
Chebukati said IEBC could not publicize the personal details of voters due to limitations provided under the right of access to information under Article 35 of the Constitution.
“It is worth noting that further to availing the register of voters the Commission posted the Register of Voters at all polling stations on the 30th October 2019, a practice that has been adapted by the Commission in every election to ensure that no voter is disenfranchised. This practice affords an opportunity for voters who have an issue upon inspection (which is a continuous process) to avail themselves at the Constituency office to be assisted in confirming their details ahead of the election,” he stated.
ODM said the Kibra register lacked important details such as national identity card details.
ODM demanded to know how names of some registered voters were deleted from the official document and others added into the Kibra voter register.
Chebukati clarified that 383 new voters were added to the certified 2017 Register of Voters (333 registered by CVR, 50 transfers into the constituency and 1 deletion.)
The Kibra MP seat fell vacant following the death of Ken Okoth who succumbed to cancer on July 26, 2019.
The November 7 mini poll has attracted 24 candidates including ODM’s Imran Okoth, MacDonald Mariga of Jubilee Party, Eliud Owalo and Khamisi Butichi who will be flying the Amani National Congress and Ford Kenya flags respectively.