A top ICT director with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is on the spotlight following allegations of deliberately tampering with the IEBC registration technology that has seen 128,000 potential voters facing removal from the voter register.
The allegations may further dim the Commission’s broken public image after the new IEBC team in a startling admission said its voter register was flawed.
Kenya Today has established that electoral agency’s ICT boss James Muhati is among IEBC officials delibertately tampering with the electronic voter listing on instructions from certain government agencies.
Muhati’s wife is said to work at Vintage Travel and Tours, a firm associated with the Deputy President William Ruto.
The woman is also said to hold a senior position in Joyful Women Organization (JOYWO), a table banking initiative whose head and founder is DP’s wife, Racheal Ruto
The disturbing details emerged just days after IEBC admitted its voter register was flawed and acknowledged 128,926 Kenyans share ID or passport numbers in its database.
The Opposition, the first to blow the whistle on the discrepancies believe a defective voter register coupled with a manual back-up is Jubilee’s panacea to rigging.
“The Ruto family and the Muhati’s are very close. This is what the Opposition should scrutinise,”a highly placed source said.
For the first time last week, Chebukati finally admitted that IEBC’s 2013 voters register, which was a subject of vicious litigation at the Supreme Court, was compromised.
“We wish to confirm that some of the numbers highlighted by the Cord Leader are indeed part of the 128,926 ID numbers that are subject of the ongoing cleanup process,” IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said last week.
“For the avoidance of doubt, most of these numbers were keyed into the system during the 2012 registration drive and do not relate to the current mass voter registration campaign. This is a historical issue and should not be used to discredit the ongoing registration drive.”
Muhati, former head of information systems at Kenya Airways was hired in March 2015 and was among the first high ranking officials picked by IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba.
But Chiloba himself is under the radar following allegations of his close associations with Ruto’s legal aid Korir Sing’oei.
On Monday, Opposition leader Raila Odinga accused unnamed officials in the ICT department of at IEBC of conspiring to interfere with voter registration.
Raila who has been spot on regarding the behind-the-scene maneuvers at IEBC said that some individuals in the ICT department were conspiring to ensure that there was double registration of voters.
He noted that the new IEBC team had inherited officials of questionable integrity who were allegedly responsible for tampering with the voter register.
“There are particular individuals, especially those in the ICT department, whose integrity is in question. They are the ones tarnishing the name of the commission,” said Raila.
At the weekend, IEBC published the names of 78,000 people who have already been registered with shared or non-existent national identification card numbers.
This is even after the commission had earlier announced that there were about 128,926 duplicate ID card numbers but did not shed light on why the number had reduced by 49,544.
Raila alleged the conflicting figures were the result of a ploy by some individuals, including some at the commission’s secretariat, who were deliberately altering the voter register.
“We have serious doubts about the IEBC secretariat and we have raised issues about the register that must be resolved before we head for the elections,” said Raila.
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