NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 13 – Two lawyers have gone to court seeking to compel the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to continue with voter listing even after the expiry of the December 18 deadline.,
In an application certified as urgent by Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi, Gerald Gakaria and Njuguna Macharia also want the High Court to declare sections of the Elections Act as illegal.
Justice Ngugi however directed Gakaria and Macharia to serve the IEBC and the Attorney General before the hearing which is scheduled for December 17.
The two lawyers argue that Section 5(1) of the Elections Act is in conflict with the Constitution to the extent that it limits continuous registration of voters.
Section 5(1) of the Elections Act provides that: “Registration of voters and revision of the register of voters under this Act shall be carried out at all times except, in the case of a General Election or an election, between the date of commencement of the 90 day period immediately before the election and the date of such election.”
They also hold that section 5(3) of the same Act is also inconsistent with the Constitution as it restricts and limits the right to be registered as a voter to persons with an identity card or a passport.
They argue that the said section is inconsistent with Articles 38 and 83 of the constitution which provides every citizen with the right o make political choices.
They hold that section 5(3) of the Act is inconsistent with the Constitution as it restricts and limits the right to be registered as a voter to persons with an identity card or a passport.
They have also fronted the argument that Section 10 of the Elections Act is inconsistent with Articles 14 and 38 of the Constitution to the extent that it restricts identification during an election to either an identity card or a Kenyan passport.
The two lawyers want the court to compel IEBC to register persons with ID waiting cards or any other identification documents given that they have proof that they are Kenyan citizens.
They also want the court to issue orders compelling the IEBC to make arrangements for all registered voters to be allowed to vote anywhere in Kenya.
“There are millions of Kenyans who have applied for national identity cards but all they have to show is a waiting card. Proof of Kenyan citizenship should not be restricted to an identity card or Kenyan passport,” the application read in part.
The commission will also face another case in court in which it is being sued for failing to register prisoners.
In its application Kituo Cha Sheria will be seeking that the court makes a finding that the IEBC’s exclusion of prisoners from voter registration is illegal and a violation of their fundamental rights to be registered as voters.
Kituo Cha Sheria prays: “That the Court grants an order compelling IEBC to register the prisoners as voters and to facilitate their voting in the 4th March 2013 elections and subsequent elections and referenda.”
It hopes the “IEBC is forced to declare each of the prisons as registration centres and also polling centres and IEBC deploys its officials as Returning Officers in the prisons for the 4th March 2013 elections and subsequent elections and referenda.”