, NAIROBI, Kenya, APR 25 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is this week expected to brief Members of Parliament on its status of preparedness towards the General Election in 2017.
The Commission Chairperson Issack Hassan and his Commissioners who have come under sustained pressure from the opposition and the clergy to resign are expected to appear before the Justice and Legal Affairs on Thursday.
- According to the IEBC, one of the failures in the 2013 election was the late delivery of Electronic Voter Identification Devices to polling stations. It says this time around, it will send out the EVIDs in good time.
- The commission also intends to conduct a mock election in August to test the transmission of the devices.
- The Commission will conduct another mass voter registration exercise in March 2017, five months to the General Election slated for August 8, 2017.
IEBC Chief Executive and Secretary Ezra Chiloba is slated to appear on Tuesday regarding the same matter.
The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) and National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) separately called for the reconstitution of the IEBC and the Supreme Court ahead of the 2017 polls citing there was a lot of misgiving regarding their credibility and capacity to handle and oversee a fair process.
In a statement to newsroom, IEBC scoffed at the resignation calls saying that it should not be distracted from implementing its Sh40 billion Election Operations Plan and taking other elaborate measures to ensure the next election will be free and flawless.
The Election Operation Plan was unveiled in January earmarking day-to-day events the Commission will undertake until the Election Day.
“The Commission will not be manipulated or intimidated or succumb to pressure in the performance of its mandate. It will hold steadfast to the law and render fair and just decisions.”
“The Commission does not take instructions or direction from anybody or authority in discharging its mandate. However, it is required to engage and involve the public generally and specific stakeholders in its processes and decision-making,” the electoral body said.
MPs have been concerned at the performance of the poll agency, after it missed its target of listing 4 million new voters in the 30-day drive but managed to achieve 1,428,056 (34 percent) of its target nationally.
The Commission attributed the poor performance to voter apathy, uncollected identity cards and confusion over the rotation of Biometric Voter Registration kits.
The meeting with MPs on Tuesday and on Thursday will give the Commission an opportunity to present its concerns such as the financial constraints it says it faces.
The Commission had earlier said it would use Sh30 billion for election preparedness activities and Sh15 billion to cater for the commission’s operations.
The IEBC also said it intends to present a proposal for the purchase of a new vote tallying and results transmission technology.
Speaking during the launch of the Election Operation Plan in January, IEBC CEO Chiloba said it is putting ICT systems in place to improve transmission of results from the constituencies to the national tallying centre.
According to the IEBC, one of the failures in the 2013 election was the late delivery of Electronic Voter Identification Devices to polling stations. It says this time around, it will send out the EVIDs in good time. The commission also intends to conduct a mock election in August to test the transmission of the devices.
The Commission will conduct another mass voter registration exercise in March 2017, five months to the General Election slated for August 8, 2017.
IEBC also intends to carry out a voter listing exercise for Kenyans living in the Diaspora in August.