IEBC reveals major challenge ahead of polls

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By FAITH NYAMAI
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Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says various cases challenging procurement of key equipment and ballot papers pending in court are the greatest challenges that the commission is facing ahead of the General Election.

The Commission’s vice chairperson Consolata Nkatha said the ongoing cases challenging the procurement of ballot papers, tendering of a reputable firm to audit the final register, and a case challenging the procurement of integrated electoral equipment are hindering the commission from finalising the election process.

“We are waiting and hoping that the verdict of the court will be positive. We as the commission are on top of things and we want to ensure that elections are held on August 8,” said Ms Nkatha.

She also said that the National Assembly is yet to approve the final draft of the elections regulations which the commission presented to them.

“The final draft is before the Parliament and we are hoping that the House approves it as early as possible to enable us finalise the process,” she added.

Ms Nkatha said, so far a total of 19,749,341 people are registered as voters.

“However, we are hoping to contract a reputable firm to audit the register to ensure we do not have cases of dead voters participating in the election,” she said.

IEBC is expected to open the register for verification for 30 days starting May 11. The final register, will is expected to be released on July 10.

Ms Nkatha said, so far, 69 political parties have submitted their party nomination papers to the commission and expects them to hold their party nominations before the election date and submit the final names of their candidates.

The commission is also open to train police officers on election security by April.

She said this, even as she retaliated that the IEBC is prepared for the elections and assured Kenyans that they will deliver free and fair elections.

“Depending on the court outcome, as commission we are prepared,” she said.

Police spokesperson Charles Owino said the police are ready to provide enough security before, during and after the elections.

“We are much ready…more than we were in 2007 and 2013,” he said.

Mr Owino said, the police have acquired about 3000 vehicles to be used.

They were speaking during a Multi Sectoral forum organised by various religious leaders and human rights organizations. The two days forum started on Wednesday and ends on Thursday.

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