, NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 14 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is set to launch a month long mass voter registration exercise on Monday.
A statement from the Commission’s Chairperson Ahmed Issack Hassan said all preparations are in place to kick off the exercise targeting an additional 4 million voters. It will be launched at the Pumwani Community Social Hall in Kamukunji Constituency.
IEBC Communication and Corporate Affairs Manager Tabitha Mutemi confirmed that 5,756 Biometric Voter Registration kits and a corresponding number of Voter Registration Assistants have been deployed nationwide to conduct the exercise at County Assembly Wards.
The exercise will be carried out from Monday February 15 to March 15.
The Commission said it will mount a voter registration road show across Nairobi with the caravan making stopovers at various estates including Kariokor, Mathare, Roysambu, Zimmerman, Kasarani, Umoja, Kayole and Pipeline.
The exercise will involve registration of new eligible voters; transfer of voters who are already registered but wish to change their polling stations; and verification of the register for already registered voters.
Some 24,559 registration centres will be used during the exercise and list of registration centres can be accessed on the commission’s website.
The exercise will however, not take place in Kericho County and Malindi Constituency which have pending by-elections and in Lamu County and Nyaribari Chache Constituency, which have two pending election petitions at the Supreme Court.
A similar exercise will be carried out early next year although registration will continue at the constituency level up to May 2017, when the register will be closed for the General Election.
The nationwide voter listing will be kicking off amid protests from major political parties which feel the commission is not adequately funded to undertake the exercise.
CORD Principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula recently expressed concern that voters in some areas stand to be disenfranchised if the exercise is carried out at the ward level.
The Orange Democratic Movement has backed down on its planned boycott of the 30 day mass voter registration and instead advised its supporters to turn out in large numbers.
ODM Deputy Party Leader and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho on Friday said the party is keen on listing the highest number of new voters in its strongholds after IEBC announced it targets to register eight million voters this year alone.
IEBC has denied claims by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party officials that the voter registration is exercise kicking off on Monday is favouring Jubilee strongholds.
“The notion that some areas perceived to be opposition have received less kits than those branded as Jubilee strongholds is misleading,” IEBC’s Communication Manager Mutemi said said in a statement.
ODM’s director of elections Junet Mohammed had issued a statement alleging bias in the distribution of the BVR kits, claiming more were distributed in Jubilee strongholds.