IEBC’S RELUCTANCE TO PROVIDE THE VOTER REGISTER FOR KIBRA CONSTITUENCY
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, we have invited you here today not to complain but to express our dissatisfaction with the manner in which the Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission (IEBC) is treating our request for the voter register for Kibra Constituency.
The Elections Act (2015) obligates the Commission to make the register of voters available at all times for inspection. The same law pre-supposes the creation of a public web portal to enable members of the public to inspect the register. Further to this, Section 27 of the IEBC Act requires the Commission to publish and publicize all important information within its mandate affecting the nation. It further provides for the procedure of accessing information within its purview.
As required by the above stated Law, we proceeded to write to the Commission requesting for the updated voter register for Kibra Constituency in a letter dated 20th September 2019 by our Executive Director Mr. Oduor Ong’wen.
Ten days later, on 30th of September 2019, after failing to get a response from the Commission, the Secretary General Mr. Edwin Sifuna wrote a follow-up letter to find out the status of the initial request and what the Commission was doing about it. Again, the Commission remained mum.
This prompted the party through Rachier and Amollo Advocates to write another letter to the electoral body on the 2nd of October 2019 demanding to know why the Commission was procrastinating on the request by the party. A similar letter was addressed to the Kibra Constituency Returning Officer.
Our lawyer’s letter sought the following from the IEBC;
1. To provide a full list of all persons registered as voters in Kibra Constituency by 2017 General Election.
2. To provide a full list of all persons registered as voters since 2017 to date including the dates and centres of registration.
3. To provide full details of all those registered on transfer since declaration of vacancy to date, specifying the constituencies which their votes were transferred from AND
4. To provide the full updated manual and electronic register of voters which will be used in the Kibra Constituency by-election on Thursday 7th November 2019.
It was not until after the letter by Messrs Otiende Amolo Advocate that the Commission’s Acting CEO Mr. Marjan H. Marjan responded by writing a letter addressed to the Secretary General of the Party on the 3rd of October 2019 asking the party to make a payment of Ksh. 15,000 at the IEBC’s cash office and submit the receipt to the Directorate of Voter Registration and Electoral Operations for processing of the documents requested for.
The Party complied on the same day.
However, since then, no action has been taken the Commission with regard to our request. Instead, we have been subjected to a back and forth game, being engaged in a song of musical chairs and tossed left right and centre from one department to another.
With three weeks to the by-election, and there being no commitment by the Commission to provide the updated voter register requested by the party, we are left with no option but to question the motive behind the hide and seek game that we are being subjected to.
It is this unwillingness by the IEBC to conduct elections strictly in accordance with the law that breeds suspicion and leads us to start believing rumours doing rounds of secret meetings between top IEBC officials and some Jubilee senior officials which are not limited to attempts to alter the voter register.
Our supporters expect vigilance on our part even as they wait to do their duty at the ballot and it is for this reason that we want to notify the IEBC that we shall be marching to their offices tomorrow at 9.am in the morning. We shall not leave the said offices unless and until we are supplied with the official updated register to be used in the Kibra by_election.
ODM Parliamentary Group
8th October 2019