IIEC warns Kamukunji, Ikolomani voters

May 19, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya May 19- The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) has warned that voters who are registered twice in Kamukunji and Ikolomani will be arrested.

Chairman Issack Hassan said they had identified several cases of double registration in the two constituencies during the compilation of a fresh voter register and warned politicians against importing voters.

Mr Hassan said the Commission would ensure that anyone who is either registered twice or attempts to vote more than once in Monday\’s by-elections will be arrested and prosecuted.

"The Commission discovered that some Kenyans registered more than once resulting to double registration which is an offence under the electoral code and goes against the maxim of one man, one vote," he said.

The electoral body said in Ikolomani, more than about 399 registered voters registered more than once. Mr Hassan said they had already prepared a separate list of the double registered voters in Ikolomani which would make their work even easier.

The electoral body is urging those who have registered more than once to immediately surrender extra cards.

At the same time, the IIEC has cited abuse of government resources in the ongoing by-election campaigns in both the Kamukunji and Ikolomani.

Commissioner Tiyah Galgalo told reporters in Kakamega: "We don\’t want the same to get repeated because most of the leaders with the government vehicles do not differentiate between state function and campaigns," she added.

She continued:  "We have no legislation to pin down those misusing the government resources as a commission but we urge them to stop using government resources; it is indeed a bad practice."

Both ODM and PNU campaign teams in Kamukunji have been wooing support for their candidates by promising commencement of major infrastructural rehabilitation projects.

Last week in a space of one day, residents of Eastleigh were promised major infrastructural projects which the IIEC argues disadvantages candidates who don\’t enjoy such government support.

While campaigning for ODM candidate Ahmed Ibrahim, Prime Minister Raila Odinga said the government had prepared a Sh30 billion development master plan to change the face of Eastleigh – the economic hub of Kamukunji constituency – which he said included upgrading of roads, drainage system and other infrastructure.

A day earlier Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, who is rooting for PNU\’s Yusuf Hassan, announced that the government had set aside Sh3.5 billion for rehabilitation of roads in the constituency.

The IIEC was forced to warn the ODM against a repeat of the abuse as its party leader Prime Minister Raila Odinga is expected in Ikolomani to commission the Sigalagala-Butere-Sidindi road.

He will also be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, MPs, local leaders and other government officials. Thereafter the PM will address a rally at Musoli primary School to drum up support for the ODM Ikolomani candidate Bernard Shinali.

Meanwhile the commission has finalised recruitment and training of election officials.

As the official campaign period expires on Saturday the commission has appealed to candidates to stick to the campaign timeline to avoid electoral violence.

The two by elections are talking place following successful petitions against immediate former MPs Bonny Khalwale of Ikolomani and Kamukunji\’s Simon Mbugua.

Mr Mbugua will however not defend his seat after he was locked out of polls after losing the PNU Alliance nomination to ODM-K Yusuf Hassan.

Other candidates in the Kamukunji race include Ahmed Ibrahim \’Johnnie\’ (ODM), Brain Weke (NARC-K), Catherine Muthoni (GNU), Mr James Matagaro (Kenya Social Congress), David Waihiga (Agano) and Daniel Omao (Ford People).

The Ikolomani race has attracted three candidates with ODM\’s Bernard Shinali and New Ford-K\’s Bonny Khalwale emerging as front runners ahead of Collins Matemba of Ford People.

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