The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has responded to claims made by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) that it had refused to serve the party with an updated voter register ahead of the Kibra by-election.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Wafula Chebukati, Commission chairman, stated that the 2017 General Election Register for Kibra Constituency is ready for sharing.
He, however, noted that IEBC has in the past few days been engaged in the process of facilitating changes in the Kibra voter register and confirmed that the changes were posted yesterday.
The changes include new enrollment and transfers during the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) period.
According to the electoral body, as of 2017, the number of registered voters in Kibra was 118,276. The number of voters registered during the CVR exercise and uploaded is 333.
44 voters recently transferred their names into the constituency while 22 transfers were made in the constituency. The commission deleted one voter entry and updated biographic details of another voter (1).
“The Commission has from today posted the changes to the Kibra register of voters detailed above in the Constituency Returning Officer’s office for seven (7) days inspection and verification.”
“Thereafter, the register will be certified and be readily available for sharing with Political Parties including ODM and any other interested party, ” Wafula added.
The chairman, further, noted that the commission had no ill motives in the Kibra poll as it will “strictly comply with the law and no registered voter will be disenfranchised as every vote counts”.
In a statement on Tuesday, the ODM party vowed to stage a demonstration on Wednesday to force the commission to produce the voter register.
“The IEBC has refused to provide the updated register for Kibra constituency ahead of the November 7 election even after persistent requests by the party. We shall be marching to their offices tomorrow (Wednesday) at 9 am and will not leave until it is provided,” said ODM.
ODM’s National Assembly Minority whip, Junet Mohammed, and the party chairman John Mbadi defended the move saying IEBC’s refusal to provide the register was sending a wrong signal to the electorates. This they said include rigging the poll in favour of Jubilee candidate McDonald Mariga.
“The hide-and-seek games IEBC has engaged our party over the register is breeding suspicion,” the party added.
“With three weeks to the election, we are left with no choice but to question the motive.”
In the mini-polls, ODM’s Imran Okoth will face Mariga, Amani National Congress’ Eliud Owala, Editar Achieng of Ukweli Party, Ford Kenya’s Khamisi Butichi and a number of independent candidates contesting for the seat.
The seat fell vacant following the demise of immediate former MP Ken Okoth, who succumbed to colorectal cancer in July this year.
Here is IEBC’s full statement: