, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 21 – Inmates who were registered as voters before they were sent to prison will now take part in the March 4 elections.
This is after the High Court directed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to allow jailed voters or those in remand custody to exercise their democratic right in the general election.
Justice David Majanja ruled that prisoners are entitled to register as voters and have a right to vote in future elections.
“The IEBC and the government should put in place mechanisms to facilitate those who are already registered as voters participate in the forthcoming elections.”
The court however declined to order the IEBC to re-open registration to enable all prisoners enlist as voters saying it was impractical.
The judge however reproached the IEBC for failing to ensure all prisoners were registered to vote in the elections saying it is a violation of their fundamental rights.
“It was not a perceive but active duty for IEBC to ensure that prisoners register as voters to enable them exercise the democratic and constitutional right,” he added.
The ruling was made in a case where Kituo cha Sheria sued the commission and the Attorney- General for failing to establish voter registration centres in prison facilities.
The lobby argued that any eligible voter should not be denied the right to vote or stand for elections.