NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 21 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has admitted that it did not test all the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits before registration commenced.
Vice chairperson Mahiri Zaja told Capital FM News that the commission was constrained by time following the late arrival of the kits and had expected the hitches being experienced.
“We had expected these challenges… remember the first kits arrived on November 1. We did not have time to test the kits; we concentrated on the training of clerks that concluded last weekend and we had to hit the ground running with registration,” she said on Wednesday.
She however confirmed that the commission was fixing the hitches and called on the members of the public to volunteer information on the failures of the process to help IEBC rectify them in good time.
“We appeal to the public to come out and register. These are small hitches that are being addressed by our officers in the regions, be it the malfunctions of the machines and areas where the clerks became nervous and used the wrong codes,” the vice chair added.
Voter listing which was launched on Monday started with hitches being reported in various centers in the country, mainly with power and use of wrong passwords, hitches with made the first day record little success.
At Moi Avenue Primary School in Nairobi, for instance, the clerks had to look for direct power from a nearby hotel. They however failed to make any progress with non responsive machines.
Protests were also reported in Laikipia on Tuesday after voter registration failed to kick off for the second day following machine failure.
Zaja assured that majority of the stations now had two batteries for each kit as well as generators and solar power in case the batteries failed.
She says that the various incidences of insecurity which have been experienced in the last few days were bound to affect numbers of those registering as voters.
She has however maintained confidence that the target of 18 million voters will be met with normalcy being realised.
“These areas are going to be affected due to the existent security challenges but we are appealing to the public to give us feedback from the ground so that we can address the issues in good time,” she emphasized.
Registration of voters is expected to continue until December 18.