, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 22 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has confirmed that ballot papers for the Makueni by-election will be ready by July 26, despite the late addition of Mutula Kilonzo Junior.
Barely a day after IEBC chairman Issack Hassan expressed concern over the timely printing of the ballot papers, the commission’s vice-chairperson Lilian Mahiri-Zaja assured that everything will be ready for Friday’s mini-poll.
“All arrangements had already been put in place and of course we were just waiting for the outcome of the case but everything had already been arranged. We shall be able to do that (print the ballot papers) in time,” she said on Monday at a breakfast meeting with editors.
Commissioner Albert Bwire who is charged with overseeing the by-election explained; “We’ll have the ballot papers printed and in Makueni even before Friday because the by-election is on Friday.”
On Sunday, Hassan in a TV interview, gave the impression that the commission was facing challenges after the High Court allowed the Wiper Democratic Movement to nominate another candidate in place of Kethi Kilonzo who was found not to be a registered voter.
“They were ready from the printer’s side but the moment the court put an injunction they had to wait for the court to give a ruling and by the time the court gave the order it was too late for them to print all the papers with the name of the new candidate. So we are going to expect some problems there,” Hassan said in Sunday’s interview.
Bwire has also assured Makueni residents that the long queues witnessed during the March 4 general election will not reoccur as the commission has put in measures to ensure the Electronic Voter Identification Devices (EVID) function as required.
“During the general election we discovered that the EVID batteries need to be charged over a long period of time and as they are already in Makueni. Our officers have made sure they will be fully charged for Friday’s exercise,” he explained.