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IEBC, ODM caught up in Kibra’s voter register brawl

By Sigomba Ramadhan Omar | November 1st 2019 at 12:01:46 GMT +0300

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati (left) and ODM party Secretary General Edwin Sifuna. [Photo, Standard] 

With less than a week left before ODM and Jubilee parties lock horns in the September 7 Kibra by-election, the former has not reached an accord with the  electoral commission over the Kibra Voter register.

The Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission yesterday through a statement answered the Orange Democratic Party’s claims that the voter register presented is incomplete.

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The dispute over the voter’s register evoked in early October after ODM threatened to storm IEBC’s headquarters alleging that the commission had deliberately refused to release the register.

On October 9, a meeting was conveyed between the duo and was termed ‘fruitful’ upon its completion with both parties opining to have reached a consensus over the release of an updated register.

Fifteen days later, ODM received the updated register for Kibra constituency that had 118,658 voters. IEBC then issued a gazette notice a day later confirming that the revision of the register was complete.

Yesterday, however, ODM came out with fresh claims that the Kibra voter register was incomplete accusing IEBC of playing hide and seek.

“The IEBC has not fulfilled its promise. Instead, on the 24th of this month, the Commission released an incomplete register, making the whole exercise a charade. What IEBC released does not contain ID numbers which makes it difficult for voters to verify their registration particulars,” ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna said.

In response, IEBC refuted the claims affirming that the right to access of information is not absolute in order to protect the voters’ privacy.

 “The management has put in place mechanism to ensure confidentiality in the management of information provided in the register of voter and thus in availing the Register of Voter cannot therefore avail full identification numbers and phone numbers,” IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said in a statement to the newsrooms.

ODM alleged that IEBC is not transparent over the status of more than 30,000 voters in the constituency basing their claims on a report released by Kibra Community Leaders.

“19,200 people in Kibra had their names removed from the register, 10,040 new names had been added in the voter register and 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 ODM.

However, IEBC termed the claims as unfounded and untruthful cautioning Party officials from misleading voters and the public.

The commission maintained that the eligible number of people to vote is 118,658 as per the gazette noticed issued on October 25.

“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 Kibra Register of Voters,” IEBC said.

IEBC also repudiated rigging claims assuring that the by election will be fair and credible.

The Kibra seat has been hotly contested with the ODM party leaving nothing to chance after their rival’s Jubilee seem so resolute to kick them out of their backyard.

Seven candidates were cleared to contest the Kibra seat but it appears to be a dark horse race between ODM’s Imran Okoth and Jubilee’s McDonald Mariga.

The seat fell vacant after Imran's brother Ken Okoth succumbed to cancer on July 26.

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