As the Independent electoral and boundaries commission – IEBC prepares to kick off the registration of voters across the country from mid February, politicians have faulted its move to deploy two registration clerks and one Biometric voter registration – BVR kit in each ward.
Speaking at a burial ceremony of Eliud Mukhooli Waliuba at wamono village in Sirisia constituency, the politicians led by area member of national assembly Major John Waluke Koyi said that having one kit in every ward will not capture the number of voters targeted by the commission before next year’s general elections.
“A ward is very huge especially here in Sirisia constituency where we have only three wards and that means that many people who are qualified to register as voters will be left out because of the distance,” said Waluke.
He noted that IEBC should deploy a sufficient number of clerks and other registration officers in the constituencies so that they can be easily accessed by the voters who want to register afresh or change their polling stations.
Similar sentiments were echoed by other politicians from Namwela ward including
Zadock Chilungu and Josephat Wachiye from Namwela ward who said that the move shall deny many Kenyans chance to vote in next year’s general elections.
How can the commission purport to be targeting over eight million voters before the next general elections yet it is only deploying one BVR registration kit in a ward yet some wards are very huge especially this Namwela ward of ours that stretches from Kikai to the border of Kanduyi constituency such that voters can’s manage to walk such long distances in such of the clerks,” said Chilungu.
On his part Wachiye (pictured) said that the commission should take the issue of registering voters with all the seriousness it deserves so that it doesn’t take the blame later during the elections.
Urged government to fund IEBC adequately
The politicians have therefore called upon the government to fund the commission adequately for it to discharge its mandate without any excuses later on.
Waluke said that the government should set aside enough funds to enable the commission conduct such important exercises that shall determine the fate of leadership in the next general elections.
“The government should give enough money to IEBC so that it deploys enough clerks and other officers in all parts of the country to reach out on every Kenyan who qualifies to register as a voter,” Waluke said.
“We should have at least six or more registration kits in each ward so that the voters can easily access them and be registered to eligible to vote in the next general polls,” added Chilungu.
Wachiye on his part also urged that the government releases sufficient funds to IEBC so that at the end of the exercise the commission is not blamed by Kenyans for leaving out many Kenyans who would have otherwise been voters in the next general polls.
The IEBC is set to kick off its first registration exercise across the country from February 15th to March 15th before it conducts another one for one month next year in the run to the August 8th 2017 general elections.