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Biometric listing of NYS cohorts suspended after uproar

Department of Public Service and Youth Development Principal Secretary Lillian Omollo explained that in September 2014, the Devolution Ministry donated 200 kits to the NYS at a public function/CFM NEWS

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 14 – Registration of National Youth Service (NYS) cohorts was on Tuesday put off after uproar by a section of the public that had alleged the exercise was part of IEBC voter registration.

On Tuesday morning, teams from the Devolution and Planning Ministry, NYS and members of the Opposition converged at the Gigiri Police Station in Nairobi to confirm if the four kits alleged to have been used to register voters were indeed used for the purpose.

Department of Public Service and Youth Development Principal Secretary Lillian Omollo explained that in September 2014, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) donated 200 kits to the NYS at a public function.
When the kits were handed over to NYS, she explained all IEBC data had been removed and since the kits were left in the custody of the NYS, most of their characteristics had been changed to ensure data entry conformed to requirements of NYS.

She explained the NYS kits during registration captures Identity Card Numbers, names, gender and age of applicants being recruited in the Kazi kwa Vijana (Youth Empowerment) Programme in all constituencies across the country with the exercise having taken place already in 102 constituencies.

Mobile phone numbers of the youth are also captured in the system which is not the case with the IEBC Biometric Voter Registration kits.

Unlike IEBC’s model of capturing biometrics of four fingers, the NYS kitty captures biometrics of one finger as demonstrated.

According to Omollo, the scanner of the NYS kits is also different from the one of IEBC kits.

It was her explanation that when the kits were handed over to NYS, all IEBC data had been removed, a point that was also clarified by IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba.

He said the kits given to NYS were completely delinked from the commission’s system and that it was not possible for NYS to share the same interface with the electoral commission.

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Omollo demonstrated to the parties present including Embakasi South MP Irshad Sumra to show that that the kits were quite different from the Biometric Voter Registration kits used by IEBC.

Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki in a statement also clarified that the kits in question were used for registering Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) beneficiaries to ensure a streamlined process.

According to her, the four kits were quite distinct from those of IEBC.

“The system used for biometric registration of NYS cohorts is completely different from the one used by IEBC. This includes the biometric scanner itself. Whereas the IEBC use a four finger scanner, the NYS is using a single digit scanner,” she explained.

Interested parties were invited to verify the NYS kits if they had any further doubts.

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