, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – At least 14,000 Biometric Voter Registration kits (BVR) are expected in the country later this week, the electoral body announced on Tuesday.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced on its Twitter account that the first 8,000 kits will be flown in on Thursday while another 6,000 will follow on Saturday.
The IEBC also announced that the training of 29,000 clerks who are expected to register voters will immediately follow the arrival.
The post on the IEBC Twitter page read: “8,000 Registration kits (BVR) expected on Thurs 1st and 6,000 on Saturday. Training of 29,000 clerks and mass registration to follow.”
On Wednesday last week, IEBC Chairman Issack Hassan said that March 4 general election would not be held on time if the BVR kits were not in the country by Tuesday (Oct 30).
“We need to have the kits in place on time in order for us to begin the work. We have to start voter registration in November. If it does not happen there will be serious repercussions,” he cautioned.
He warned of “grave consequences” on the forthcoming elections should the delivery of the kits be further delayed.
The post on Twitter did not however announce any ramification, or indicate changes in the registration program following the delayed arrival of the kits.
Attempts by Capital FM News to seek clarification on whether the deadlines ahead of the election will be met yielded nothing as calls to the chairman Issack Hassan and CEO James Oswago went unanswered.
Earlier on Tuesday, Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eugene Wamalwa challenged the IEBC to shed light on the fate of the BVR kits to tame public anxiety.
Wamalwa, who spoke during a forum to review the Constitution implementation process, urged the electoral body to start issuing weekly updates on the country’s preparedness for the forthcoming general election, saying their silence was causing unnecessary worry.
He said the IEBC must clear any grey areas surrounding electoral readiness as the polls were only four months away.
“I urge my brother (Hassan) to give more information on the elections because of the rising anxiety due to shortage of information and communication with Kenyans,” he said.
“I think Kenyans know more about the (Kenya Defence Forces) operation in Kismayu than about the oncoming election,” he quipped.
On Monday, President Mwai Kibaki held discussions with IEBC officials led by Hassan at his Harambee House.
A statement from the Presidential Press Service said that the meeting reviewed the progress made in the preparations for the forthcoming general election.
PPS reported that IEBC commissioners reassured Kenyans that appropriate steps have been taken to ensure that the election is held as scheduled.
Among those present at the meeting were Attorney General Githu Muigai, Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution Chairman Charles Nyachae and the acting Head of Public Service Francis Kimemia.
(WAMBUI NDONGA contributed to this report)