NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has hired over 4,000 officials to take part in the Homa Bay senatorial by-election set for Thursday.
In a statement, the Communications and Corporate Affairs Manager Tabitha Mutemi indicated that the recruitment of presiding officers, deputy presiding officers and polling clerks was done in an open transparent and professional manner.
She further pointed out that the training of all election officials and candidates’ agents, briefing of security officials and consultation with candidates had been completed ahead of the February 12, 2015 Homa Bay senatorial by-election.
“All poll officials appointed and deployed in the Homa Bay by-election are under oath to discharge their duties diligently. Prior to their recruitment, IEBC, in accordance with the law, deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties the list of persons proposed for appointment to disseminate to all political parties and independent candidates to enable them make the necessary representations,” she said.
She also refuted claims that an election official was seen being driven in a local MP’s car and stated that officers are assigned official transport during the course of their duty.
“It is important to note that malicious allegations towards election officials may expose them to danger, a clear contravention of Paragraph 6(k) (iv) of the Electoral Code of Conduct which requires all those bound by the Code to: “take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of observers and other representatives of the commission from exposure to insult, hazard or threat in the course of their official duties.”
The Homa Bay Senate seat fell vacant following the death of Otieno Kajwang’ on November 18. The law requires that a by-election is held within 90 days from the occurrence of a vacancy.
IEBC said the County Returning Officer will be gazetted and issued with a notice to conduct the poll by the IEBC Chairman, Ahmed Issack Hassan.
Homa Bay County has six constituencies namely Kabondo Kasipul, Karachuonyo, Rangwe, Ndhiwa, Mbita and Gwasi.
Kajwang’ was buried at his Waondo home in Mbita constituency. He was a luminary of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party and a staunch ally of its leader and Opposition chief Raila Odinga.