Oparanya opposed to the manual voter registration
Written by Joseph Amunya Otieno
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Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya has appealed to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to put in place a raft of measures in order to ensure Kenyans a free, fair and credible General Election next year.
Addressing mourners during burial of Mzee Henry Sakaya at Tombo village, Kakamega North District, Oparanya urged IEBC chairperson Mr. Issak Hassan to restore confidence in the electorate by ensuring that the commission adopts the controversial Biometric Voter Registration (BVS) adding that this electronic system was the only way out of voter rigging and other electoral malpractices. “ As a government we are committed to free and fair elections next year and we thought one way of ensuring that we achieve that is to have a biometric registration of voters,” said the minister.
He sharply differed with a section of politicians calling for a return to the old system of manual voter registration and voting and instead urged the government to consider hiring the same from countries like Ghana or Zimbabwe.
The minister called for a speedy solution to the controversy surrounding the BVS in order to allow voter registration exercise kick off immediately thereby stop the current unnecessary anxiety among Kenyans. “ I know there has been a problem in tendering of the machines but as government we are saying if there is a problem with that one company, there are other companies because they were five they can do a restrictive tendering which is allowed in law to look at the four other companies so that one of them can be selected to do the biometric voter registration and if it’s not possible we have also a possibility of hiring from other countries that have the same equipment such as Ghana and Zimbabwe, said Oparanya.
The minister observed that if manual voter registration is allowed it create loopholes for votes rigging and that it won’t be possible for the elections to be held in one day saying that it would be difficult to vote six time in such a short time to allow everybody in that polling station to vote.
The late Sakaya was father to the ODM Malava branch chairperson Mr. Musavini Nambwa who is also an aspirant for Malava parliamentary seat.