Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials and police in Marsabit County have refuted claims that biometric voter registration kits have been taken to Ethiopia to register non-citizens.
Unconfirmed reports indicated that there were people asking for the direction to Sololo, Kenya’s border town with Ethiopia, where they could enlist Ethiopian citizens, and pass them off as Kenyans.
However, acting County Commander John Kwasa denied the statements but nonetheless said patrols have been intensified to ensure the ongoing voter enlisting drive is credibly conducted.
“We have intensified patrols in all our road blocks following the reports. We are searching all the vehicles because we don’t want to rule out anything,” Mr Kwasa said on phone.
Similarly, IEBC coordinator in Saku, Dulacha Boru, dismissed the allegations as rumours.
Further, Mr Boru said the registration in the region is slow, telling leaders to marshal the locals to enlist.
“Our clerks are very idle. They register one or two voters in a day. This is just a rumour. Politicians should instead rally their supporters to come and register,” Mr Boru said.
He said about 1,000 people have been registered since the exercise began seven days ago, blaming the low turnout on drought.
Mr Boru also said that more than 2,000 identity cards remain uncollected.
“Drought is also contributing to poor turnout for the voter registration exercise. Most of the pastoralists have moved to Shura near the border of Marsabit and Isiolo. We will move there to register them,” he added.
During last year’s Madaraka Day celebrations, Governor Ukur Yatani told security officers to thwart plans by local administrators to aid foreigners acquire identity cards.
Governor Yatani said reports of infiltration of major towns by aliens should be looked into.
“I’m urging law enforcement agents to take charge because of such emerging issues, and particularly now that we are headed for the General Election in August next year,” he had said at the time.