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IEBC ordered to extend voter listing until case on Feb 16

Omtatah argues that the voter registration can only be closed two months to a General Election/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 14 – The High Court on Tuesday ordered the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to extend voter registration exercise by two more days.

The order was issued by Justice Chacha Mwita following a suit filed by activist Okiya Omtatah.

It will remain in force pending an inter-partes hearing of the case on February 16.

Omtatah argued that the voter registration exercise could only be closed two months to a General Election.

He asked the court to compel IEBC to register voters using birth certificates and expired passports since so many eligible voters had been unable to register for lack of IDs.

Omtatah also wants the court to declare that a single database of citizens should be used to transact all affairs affecting citizens.

According to him, separate registrations for examinations, Identity Cards, Kenya Revenue Authority PIN numbers and passports are unreasonable and a wastage of public funds.

He said without full disclosure, it was impossible to tell how the IEBC estimated targets for registering voters in various parts of the country independent of Executive mischief to suppress voters in some areas.

He also wanted to know how IEBC used the official data of the adult population from the Directorate of Immigration and Registration of Persons based on the 2009 census.

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“The government is wasting resources running multiple database of citizens in violation of the constitution requiring public money to be used in a prudent and responsible way,” he added.

The activist said IEBC should use accurate data provided by the Directorate of Immigration and Registration of Persons on the estimated number of adults living in each county or constituency.

He went on to argue that IEBC needed to break out of the Executive’s choke-hold by letting the public know how widespread the discriminatory issuance of IDs was and how it disenfranchised the unsuspecting citizens.

According to the Elections Law, voter registration should close 90 days before the General Election to pave way for verification to allow for any corrections and deal with issues of duplication.


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