, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has suspended voter registration on Migingo Island following the detention of two of its clerks by Ugandan authorities.
IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba told Capital FM News that although they had secured the release of the clerks, the registration of Kenyan voters on the island would not resume “until we have clear assurance on security of staff and equipment.”
The clerks were taken into custody and their equipment, a Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kit, confiscated by Ugandan police on the island on Tuesday.
The Ugandan police had said they would not release them until they received official communication from the IEBC secretariat regarding their activities on the island whose ownership is contested.
Ugandan police currently patrol the island pending the outcome of a survey jointly commissioned by the two governments to determine within whose borders it rests.
Nyatike constituency IEBC coordinator Samuel Ochieng told Capital FM News reporter Joe Ojwang that the Nyatike Sub-County Deputy Commissioner James Namtala had initiated negotiations with the Regional Commissioner in Uganda to resolve the stalemate.
IEBC sent its clerks to the island after it received a request from the Kenyan Migingo Beach Management Unit Chairman John Obunge.
Speaking to Capital FM News on phone from the island, Obunge confirmed that the voter registration had ceased and appealed for the Kenyan government to safeguard their Constitutional right to register as voters.
– Ojwang Joe contributed to this report.