IEBC Officials Arrested by Uganda Police

  • Two Registration Clerks of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) were Tuesday arrested at Migingo Island by Ugandan security officers.

    The IEBC officials were apprehended in the much disputed island where they had gone to register Kenyan fishermen, amid the ongoing mass voter registration which kicked off on February 15.

    It is reported that the Ugandan police also seized the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kit from the electoral officials.

    Officers holding the two Kenyans at a makeshift Uganda Police Station on the island stated that IEBC headquarters in Nairobi must write to them, explaining why the officers were on the Island without their knowledge.

    “We will detain the BVR machine until we are convinced what their mission to the Island was…we cannot just be ambushed here by people carrying machines we know nothing about,” one of the officers was quoted by the Nation.

    The duo's arrest sparked protests among Kenyans at the island who were demanding to be registered as electorates.

    “We had asked the IEBC to bring us their officials to enlist us before the expiry of the mass voter registration period but we are shocked that the neighbours are now interfering with the activities of the Kenyan government,” one of the Islanders stated.

    Migori County police boss David Kirui confirmed the incident saying they were doing everything they could to ensure the clerks were released.

    Migingo Island has been a source of dispute between Kenya and Uganda, with both countries staking a claim to the island surrounded by the waters of  Lake Victoria. The row over the piece of land has lasted since 2002.