8,000 BVR kits are faulty, polls agency reveals

IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba(left) and IEBC Director of voter Education Ras Masudi during a meeting with journalist at a Nairobi hotel on 9/1/17-BEVERLYNE MUSIL

The electoral commission is likely to face numerous challenges while registering new voters as the bulk of equipment is faulty.

Some 8,000 biometric voter registration (BVR) kits are faulty, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has revealed.

With only six days to the start of the second phase of voter registration, the commission complained that it had only 7,793 BVR kits as it targets at least six million new voters.

Before the 2013 polls, IEBC registered slightly over 14 million voters against the targeted 18 million.

At the time, the commission acquired about 15,000 kits although there are 24,000 registration centres spread across the country. Now the commission argues that lack of adequate personnel and inadequate BVR kits will hamper voter listing.

Already, voter registration clerks and their assistants are being trained until Saturday, two days before voter registration begins.

Movement schedules for the BVR kits will be shared with locals so that all eligible voters have a chance to be registered.

“The second mass voter registration is meant to increase the number of voters by four to six million and 7,793 BVR kits will be deployed countrywide at ward level. We have about 8,000 that are faulty,” IEBC Chief Executive Ezra Chiloba said.

Mr Chiloba said the kits distribution criteria was based on geographical area, since development partners had helped buy some kits.

He allayed fears that Jubilee strongholds had been allocated more kits than Opposition areas.

During a consultative forum with the media yesterday, Chiloba explained that the commission expected to have 22 million registered voters by August.

As of June 30, 2016, some 15,857,185 voters were in the IEBC database pending verification and certification. Approximately nine million people have been issued with identity cards but are yet to register as voters, according to IEBC.

A total of 15,000 personnel: 290 registration officers, 290 assistant registration officers, 1,775 voter registration assistants, 580 ICT support assistants and 15,586 clerks will register voters.

IEBC has deployed two ICT support assistants per constituency to deal with any technological hitches.

Voters who intend to transfer from one polling station to another will only be cleared at constituency level.