NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 27 – All eligible voters in prisons will have a chance to vote during this year’s General Election.
This is after the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission announced that all prisons will be gazetted as registration centres and then proceed to roll out the exercise from February 20 to 27, 2017.
“In order to enhance the right of prisoners to participate in the electoral process and in compliance with the Supreme Court decision, the Commission resolved to gazette prisons as registration centres based on the data to be received from the State Department for Correctional services,” IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati said in a statement on Friday.
It has been a long wait for many prisoners who have been looking for a chance to exercise their democratic right.
In 2010, the court ruled that all eligible prisoners should be allowed to exercise their right to vote during polling every five years.
There are more than 50,000 inmates in the country.
Chebukati says the commission will also be hosting thematic working group on the Diaspora participation in the elections next week.
“We wish to reiterate our call to all Kenyans and political leaders to mobilize eligible voters to register remembering that credible elections is the responsibility of all of us,” he said.
The commission has also allowed BVR kits to move around in areas hard hit by the ongoing drought, but strictly with each constituency.
“The commission took note that voter registration services in pastoral areas have been affected by drought and difficult logistical challenges as a result of the vastness of these areas,” he said.