NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 15 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says Kenyans wishing to change their voters registration details or make transfer requests will now do it at the Commission’s Constituency offices.
Speaking during a media briefing ahead of tomorrow’s launch of the Second and final Phase of the national Mass Voter Registration (MVR) exercise, CEO Ezra Chiloba said the move is aimed at freeing up the 24,613 registration centres to new applicants.
“Given the human resources that we have currently and given the potential high turnout that we are likely to see and given the lessons learnt in the first Mass Voter Registration exercise, we are advising the country that those people seeking to transfer as voter they should go and make that application at our constituency offices across the country,” he stated.
Chiloba further assured Kenyans that Biometric Voter Registration kits will be distributed equitably and used diligently as the commission rolls-out the month long registration drive.
“I want to note that in the last few months, we as a country been involved in very polarizing debates, we have held extreme view on certain policy decisions concerning elections. While we may have points of disagreements, which is part of democracy, we must also have shared positions. We believe that registration of voters is something each of us must agree on,” he said in reference the to the debate that characterised Parliament adopting the contentious Elections Laws Amendment Bill, which is now law after it was assented to by the President.
Chiloba said the incoming Chairman and Commissioners are expected to make a decision on voter registration in the Diaspora and which countries will be involved.
“With respect to Diaspora and data which is remains to be a problem. However we have been able to use, -what we call- proxy data to have an idea about how the Kenyan population abroad is spread and it is based on that advice that we would like to advice the new commission in terms of the options available with respect to Diaspora registration and voting,” Chiloba added.
The National Assembly is scheduled to hold a special sitting to consider nominations of Wafula Chebukati (for Chairman) and six new commissioners.
The Commission is targeting to register 6 million new voters during the 30 days exercise.
In the 2013 General Election, IEBC had registered 14.4 million voters, a target that it deemed unsatisfactory hence its efforts to hit its target of 22 million voters for the next election.
24,613 registration centres countrywide have been identified to be used during the month-long mass voter registration exercise, according to Chiloba.
7,793 Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits will be positioned at the County Assembly Ward level in the entire country.
“This is an increment in terms of the number of kits we had in the last MVR exercise when we had 5,776 kits.
Our distribution of this kit is based on geographical area. If you have a county assembly ward that cove res the area between 0-10 square kilometres, then we will have three kits allocated to that particular County Assembly,” Chiloba explained at a news conference held in Nairobi on Sunday.
IEBC has already recruited over 15,000 personnel to carry out the exercise.
IEBC will on Tuesday gazette registration centres and officers in the Kenya gazette to also capture the 300 registration centres whose names and locations had changed.