NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19 – The Mass Voter Registration will come to a close Sunday after a court ruling that saw the exercise extended from February 14 to 19.
Justice Chacha Mwita directed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to continue with the exercise until 6pm.
The ruling was made in a case filed by activist Okiya Omtatah who had wanted the exercise to continue until June, arguing that closing it at this point will lock out many potential voters who have not received their National Identity Cards or Passports.
He contended that the timelines issued by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission are arbitrary and anchored on unreasonable thinking.
The exercise was targeting six million new voters in the hope of having up to 22 million Kenyans participate in the August General Election.
The activist had also raised several other pertinent issues, which the court will now hear from March 2.
He is seeking to have the court compel IEBC to register voters using birth certificates and expired passports.
According to him, separate registrations for examinations, Identity Cards, Kenya Revenue Authority PIN numbers and passports are unreasonable and a waste of public funds.
The electoral body’s lawyer Eric Gumbo had indicated that the fact that the MVR was stopped did not mean that continuous voter registration will not go on at constituency level.
He stated that any change in the timelines set has far-reaching implication which would also be very expensive to the taxpayer.
He explained that the processes that go into the register must be accurate and accountable and this requires time.