, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 20 – President Mwai Kibaki has declared Bomas of Kenya, which is the national tallying centre for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) a restricted area, until after the elections.
President Kibaki assured the commission that the government would facilitate the immediate take-over of the facility.
President Kibaki gave the assurance on Wednesday, when he met officials of the electoral body led by chairman Issack Hassan.
The president thanked the IEBC for its work and assured the commission that 90,000 security personnel would be deployed around the country to ensure peaceful elections.
The Head of State encouraged the IEBC, government institutions and officials, political parties and their members and all candidates to play their part in ensuring a free and fair election.
President Kibaki, once again, called for a peaceful election and exuded confidence that Kenya would have a flawless poll.
In his brief, the IEBC chairman informed the president that the commission had met all the presidential candidates and secretary generals of parties contesting the elections.
Hassan also told the president that the process of importing ballot papers will be complete by the end of this week.
The chairman further informed the president that a list of candidates qualifying to be aspirants for various positions has been gazetted.
The president was also told that preparations at the Bomas of Kenya national tallying centre were complete and the systems tested to ensure efficient delivery of results.
In the brief, Hassan said the commission was partnering with the government and the private sector to conduct a comprehensive voter education programme with radio and TV stations.
The chairman further added that the commission had served all aspirants with reminders on operationalisation of the Electoral Code of Conduct, the stipulated campaign time between 7am and 6pm and the end of the campaign period on March 2, which is 24 hours before the election day.
On simulation of the electoral process and transmission of results, Hassan noted that the exercise, aimed at educating the public on the polling day processes will go on as scheduled this Sunday, February 24.
He said that in accordance with the law, the commission has also gazetted the respective code to the counties, constituencies, assembly wards and all polling stations.
Hassan assured Kenyans that the collation and publication of the register was complete and preparations are underway to upload the voter register into the poll book.
In attendance during the meeting were Finance Minister Njeru Githae, Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa, Attorney General Githu Muigai, Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia, Justice PS Gichira Kibaara and Mohammed Isahakia from the PM’s office.
Meanwhile, top security and intelligence officials from Nairobi County met on Wednesday morning met with officials of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to plan for the security of the national tallying centre.
The meeting held at Bomas of Kenya was chaired by IEBC’s chief security officer at the national tallying centre colonel (Rtd) James Gichuhi.
Among those who attended the meeting is the commandant of the General Service Unit William Saiya.