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30-day mass voter registration to start on October 4, IEBC says

NATIONAL
By Betty Njeru | September 22nd 2021

IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati at Parliament, Nairobi. [David Njaaga, Standard]

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has announced that it will embark on a 30-day nationwide voter registration exercise starting October 4, 2021.

The Commission targets between six and seven million new voters in the drive.

The electoral agency made the revelations on Wednesday, September 22, when it met members of Faith-Based Organisations at a Nairobi hotel.

The commission will also conduct mass voter registration for the diaspora in December this year.

IEBC will include six more countries in its diaspora list among them South Sudan, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Chebukati said the countries meet the minimum requirement of 3,000 voters.

Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Africa participated in the 2017 General election.

The IEBC maintained that the 2022 General Election will be held on August 9, despite a section of politicians calling for postponement of the polls due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The electoral board’s chairperson, Wafula Chebukati, accused politicians of meddling in the affairs of the Commission, and, in the process, inciting Kenyans against the polls referee.

“The interference exposes [IEBC] commissioners to ethnic profiling, consequently making them insecure and susceptible to attacks,” he said.

Chebukati has urged the National Treasury to allocate the Commission sufficient funds ahead of the 2022 General Election.

“Over the years, the Commission’s funding has not been adequate and in tandem with the electoral cycle. For instance, this year, we asked for Sh40. 9 billion to conduct the 2022 General Election, but got Sh26 billion,” he said.

Chebukati attributes the Commission’s last minute acquisition of election materials to underfunding at the initial stages.

“Courts’ decisions and pronouncements are made too close to elections, therefore affecting the Commission’s preparedness,” he said.

IEBC said politicians who would be dissatisfied with election outcome would be free to file petitions from August 28, 2022, nearly three weeks after the polls would have been held.

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