NAIROBI, Kenya, December 19 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has embarked on a clean-up of the voter register following the end of the exercise on Tuesday that saw about 70 percent of eligible Kenyans listed.,
Speaking on Wednesday morning, IEBC Commissioner Mohamed Alawi indicated that there will be a ‘clean’ register and a ‘special’ one.
“Every single name will be run against all the names to decide which name appears twice or who among us had double-registered himself. We are going to produce two registers, the clean register and the special register,” he said.
He explained that the special register will be used to enable eligible voters who have registered twice to set their records straight and those who used fake documents to be weeded out.
“The special register will be for those who have either used the wrong identity card or have double- registered, so that will not be the end of them.”
He urged those who registered to cross-check their details on the special register before the records are closed since those who will come to vote next year, and are double registered will be slapped with a penalty of a Sh100,000 fine or a prison term of one year.
“There will be an inspection and all those who registered will be allowed to go back to their registration centres and check their details and correct them should there be any anomalies. We shall also put in place an SMS system where at the comfort of your home, office or even in the restaurant, you can actually check whether you have been registered or not,” he pointed out.
“For those who are trying to cheat the system we shall have them arrested during the voting day and have them charged for double registration.”
He further pointed out that IEBC is now focusing on registering voters within the East African region where so far 1,000 voters have been registered.
“We as a commission said that we can try to register voters in the Diaspora within the East African region and we urged Parliament to put in place the necessary legislation for the exercise to kick off and it is ongoing,” he stated.
“We started a bit late but statistics as at this morning showed that we have already registered 1,000 voters in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi,” he said.
Alawi further said that the commission was not to blame for the omission of the registration of youths who had waiting cards.
He indicated that the commission did all it could to push the Immigrations Ministry to issue them with identity cards but many of them missed out.
“Parliamentarians tried to amend the law. We are a creature of law. We have to do everything as per the law. They tried to amend the law three or four days before the end of voter registration. This was not possible because it had not become a law,” he said.
He further reiterated that the waiting cards could not be used for registration as they would cancel the gains made by IEBC.
‘Secondly, they do not have serial numbers, they do not have photographs, so they would have diluted all the hard work that Kenyans demanded of IEBC and what it had put in place to make sure that we had a credible register,” he said.
He also explained that during the election next year, every precaution will be taken to ensure that the process proceeds smoothly.
“During the election day, we are going to employ a technology which will verify that you are the person who registered on that day. We are going to have a small hand held gadget to complement our computers which were used for registration whereby a Kenyan will be asked to place their finger on that machine that reads that you were the one who registered,” he stated.