IEBC Systems Breached, Voters Irregularly Transferred

  • b
    IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati addresses the media at a press conference in August 2021
    File
  • With 70 days to the much awaited August 9 elections, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has detected some irregular transfer of votes in the electronic register.

    The irregularity was detected during a preliminary review conducted on the voters' register which established the breach. The IEBC noted that some voters were transferred from one polling station to another without following the stipulated statutory process.

    IEBC chairperson, Wafula Wanyonyi Chebukati, noted on Monday, May 30, that the Commission was investigating the breach and any IEBC officials found culpable will face the law.

    IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati addresses 2022 presidential aspirants at a pre-candidate registration meeting at the Bomas of Kenya on Monday, May 23, 2022
    IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati addresses 2022 presidential aspirants at a pre-candidate registration meeting at the
    Bomas of Kenya on Monday, May 23, 2022
    IEBC

    "Transfers happen when a voter requests and there is a form to fill which then the registration officer has to update the register. If there are unauthorised cases where one finds themselves in a place they don’t want, the Commission investigates," Chebukati explained.

    "Cases of transfers without one's knowledge shall be investigated and the Commission has asked for all transfer forms and if there are such cases, the voters will be returned to their polling stations. And if an officer was involved in the aunthorised transfer, stern action will be taken, the Commission will not tolerate that."

    To ensure all details of the electorates are correctly captured ahead of the August 9 General Election, Chebukati further urged all Kenyans to verify their information either by sending short messages or visiting their polling centers to avoid being locked out of the process.

    "We opened up the voter register for verification from 4th May to 2nd June. We call upon Kenyans to be verified electronically, sms platform and also online platforms."

    The electoral body is supposed to gazette the voter register to be used in the upcoming polls by June 9.

    The issue of system breach comes even as some aspirants raised concerns over clearance hitches. System failure was reported in a number of stations on the second day of vetting aspirants.

    Some candidates who were submitting their papers were forced to wait for over three hours. The affected areas include Garissa, Siaya and Kisii.

    Speaking after receiving his clearance certificate to vie for the Busia Senatorial seat, human rights activist Okiya Okoiti Omtatah urged the electoral commission to seal all the loopholes to avoid raising cases of electoral malpractices.

    The hitches come just days after Azimio La Umoja's presidential running mate, Martha Karua, asked IEBC to come clean on how it will ensure the polls will be free, fair, and credible.

    "As Azimio and civil society, we should write to the electoral Commission demanding a brief on how to conduct election and tools they intend to use," she stated.

    "They need to tell us how have they addressed issues that led to the nullification of the presidential election in 2017 because it would be wrong to go into another election with those issues not addressed. Some of them might be just procedures."

    File photo of Kenyans in a queue waiting to cast their vote in a past election.
    File photo of Kenyans in a queue waiting to cast their vote in a past election.
    File