The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party has taken the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to court for refusing to release a complete register of the Kibra constituency ahead of the November 7 by-election.
Kahawa Tungu, exclusively spoke with Philip Etale, the party Communication Director, who confirmed that the party moved to court on Monday afternoon seeking orders to compel IEBC to release the complete register ahead of the by-election slated for this Thursday.
The ODM party on Thursday last week accused the electoral body of “playing hide and seek games” with the vital document despite making a commitment that it would serve the party with the full register by October 17.
Edwin Sifuna, the ODM Secretary General stated that the register it received from the electoral body didn’t have ID numbers hence “making the whole exercise a charade”.
The commission chairman, Wafula Chebukati, however, stated that IEBC truncated the details for privacy purposes as provided for in the constitution of the land.
“…the Commission has put in place mechanisms to ensure confidentiality in management of the information provided in the Register of Voters and thus availing the Register of Voters cannot, therefore, avail full identification numbers and mobile numbers hence the truncation, ” Chebukati said in a statement.
On Monday, IEBC stated on its social media handles that the Kibra Voter Register was posted at all polling stations as required by the law adding that all campaigns end today at 6PM.
“Voters in Kibra can check their registration details by visiting their polling stations, ” said IEBC.
The Register of Voters was posted at the Polling Stations as required by Law. Voters in Kibra can check their registration details by visiting their polling stations. #byelections2019 #talkwithIEBC pic.twitter.com/5v86szlr3L
— IEBC (@IEBCKenya) November 4, 2019
Chebukati has maintained that the total number of registered voters for the constituency eligible to vote is 118,658 as per the published Gazette Notice which includes 383 new voters added to the certified 2017 Register of Voters. This includes 333 that were registered during the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise, 50 that were transferred into the constituency and one deletion.
“The commission takes exception to the unfounded and untruthful allegations by ODM party in respect to the unsubstantiated deletion and addition of names to the register, said Chebukati.
“We sternly caution the party officials to cease from deliberately misleading voters and the general public. The commission is committed to providing a level playing field for all candidates and political parties and will not be intimidated as it endeavours to fulfil its constitutional mandate.”
ODM had called on the IEBC to come clean on 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.
This is in reference to an alleged report released by the Kibra Community Leaders who claim that a list of 19,200 people in Kibra had their names removed from the register.
“They also indicated that 10,040 new names had been added in the voter register. The report also indicated that 3,812 people had been moved from their polling stations to others without their knowledge. The IEBC is yet to come clean on this!” said Sifuna.
The race has attracted several candidates, including ODM’s Imran Okoth, Jubilee’s McDonald Mariga Amani National Congress’ Eliud Owalo and Ford Kenya’s Eng. Khamisi Butichi.
The seat fell vacant following the demise Imran’s brother, Ken Okoth, who succumbed to colorectal cancer in July.