Former Presidential Aspirant Ekuru Aukot’s Punguza Mizigo Initiative’s plan to amend the constitution is staring at a new hurdle after an election observer group claimed that some of the signatures collected are not authentic.
According to the Election Observer Group (ELOG), a significant number of signatures that the IEBC used to give it a green light were not authentic.
Addressing the press on Monday, the ELOG noted that a good number of the signatures in the filled forms were uniform.
The agency’s national coordinator Mulle Musau mentioned that the uniformity of the signatures, ” raises the question of authenticity and reliability of the signed forms.”
He added that the whole exercise of verifying the signatures was shrouded in opaqueness and that they were not allowed to access the entire documents that were being reviewed.
However, among those signatures that were reviewed, a number of listed voters had similar ID numbers while some forms had missing details like ID numbers and signatures, further impugning the process.
In addition, the body faulted the IEBC for failing to open up the process for public scrutiny and participation “so that Kenyan voters could ascertain that their signatures and details were listed with their consent.”
“The IEBC okayed 1.2 million signatures submitted by the promoters of the punguza mzigo initiative without giving Kenyans an opportunity to ascertain if indeed the said signatures were given with their consent,” the observer mentioned.
Further, the permanent election observer outfit also questioned what the IEBC used as a repository for verifying the signatures, arguing that it does not maintain a database of signatures against which the collected ones would be run against as the banks do.
“Since IEBC had no repository of specimen signatures (like banks do), there was no way to compare and verify the same,” they said in a statement.
Last week, IEBC issued a statement confirming that Aukot’s initiative was supported by a total of 1,222,541 registered voters.
In a statement signed by Wafula Chebukati, IEBC noted that the draft will now be submitted to each of the 47 counties for consideration within the next three months from the date of submission by the commission.
“Thereafter, the Speakers of the respective County Assemblies will submit the decisions of their respective County Assemblies to the Speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate pursuant to Article 257(6) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010,” read the statement.