Doubts cast over IEBC preparedness ahead of elections


Programme Manager ICJ Julie Matheka and Davis Malombe, Executive Director Kenya Human Rights Commission briefing the media on the preparedness of key institutions for holding credible elections. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]


The civil society has expressed doubts on the Independent Election and Boundaries Commission’s readiness to conduct the August elections.

Under the umbrella Angaza Movement, the 10 civil societies argued that IEBC was not ready, citing a number of indicators including interference with voters register, fairness of procurement of election materials, water-tight electoral technology, ambiguity of the elections calendar and non-gazettement of polling stations among others.

Annet Nerima from Kenya Human Rights Commission said a recent comment by IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati on interference of the Elections Technology System that led to transfer of voters in the Register exposes a serious security threat on the safety of voters’ data.

“With almost five years to prepare, it looks like the IEBC has been caught napping creating fears that all may not be well at the institution. The allegation of about one million missing voters needs to be clarified to avoid changing, deleting or amending voters’ records without any trace,” said Nerima.

Angaza Movement demanded that the electoral body comes out strongly to allay any fears that the election will be managed using technology, and that it will not fail.

In a joint statement during a press briefing at the KHRC offices, the activists pointed at the "unclear" procurement of the elections equipment. 

Deputy President William Ruto has raised alarm over possible transfer of voters in the IEBC register.

Nerima argued that a definitive and verifiable voter's register is the basis of an accountable election and that a perception by Kenyans of a flawed listing register will only damage the election outcome.

With 63 days to the elections, the activists called for weekly updates on the activities being conducted by the IEBC to avoid suspicion and voter apathy. 

Julie Matheka, a programme manager at the International Commission of Jurists-Kenya called on Wafula Chebukati-led body to make regular updates on procurement, configuring and testing of the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) kits before August 9.

“Polling stations are yet to be gazetted and our worry is that time is running out as all the stations must be kitted with KIEMS and have the ability to transmit election results electronically,” she added.

KHRC Executive Director Davis Malombe revisited the "list of shame" released by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission asking the electoral body to bar aspirants with integrity issues: “We have also published a list of aspirants who don’t measure up to the threshold of integrity.”