NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 27 – The chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the Inspector General of Police on Wednesday met President Mwai Kibaki to brief him on the final preparations ahead of Monday’s General Election.
IEBC’s Issack Hassan told the president that everything the commission needed was in place while Kimaiyo assured that firm and decisive action will be taken against persons who will come in the way of a smooth election.
Hassan reported that all voting materials including ballot boxes were in the country and that the commission had employed and trained staff in readiness for Election Day.
He reported that IEBC was technically well prepared for Monday after a successful mock election last Sunday.
“A mock election has been held and lessons learnt to improve on the voting time to make the exercise more effective will be applied,” a dispatch from the Presidential Press Service said.
Hassan maintained that new entrants on voting queues will not be allowed into the polling station after 5pm but that those on the queue at that time will be allowed to vote.
He added that a committee on complaints under an IEBC commissioner has been established to expedite the hearing and determination of issues that may arise before the poll.
IEBC confirmed that it had received enough voter verification kits for the polling stations and that the kits have been configured and ready for distribution.
In his brief, the Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo told the president that 85 persons had already been arrested for committing various election offences while investigations had been launched into cases where negative leaflets were being distributed in the country.
Further Kimaiyo also reported that the mobilisation and deployment of 99,000 security officials across the country was underway.
“Police are under instructions to deal firmly with anyone who will try to disrupt the voting process. There will be proper security checks before voters enter polling stations,” the PPS statement said adding that the meeting was also briefed on areas where there could be possible security threats.
Wednesday’s meeting resolved that political parties should dissuade their supporters from clustering around polling stations.
President Kibaki on his part appealed to all Kenyans to maintain peace so as to ensure a free and fair election.
He encouraged all the candidates to preach peace and make public commitments to respect the will of the Kenyan people.
The president also appealed for calm and sobriety in the final days of the campaigns.