NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 1 – The first consignment of presidential ballot papers for the August 8 General Election arrived in the country Monday night.
A total of 192 pallets were received at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairperson Wafula Chebukati, Vice Chairperson Consolata Nkatha and Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba.
According to Chebukati, logistical arrangements were in full gear to have the remaining ballot papers delivered to the country on Wednesday, Monday’s batch expected to cover some 30 counties.
“We’ve received the first batch of presidential ballot papers – 192 units – and we shall be receiving the last batch on August 2,” Chebukati said.
A Dubai-based printer – Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LCC – concluded the printing on Friday after embarking on the process on July 20 following a Court of Appeal ruling quashing orders from the High Court for their retendering.
The Commission reiterated that each of the 20.8 million ballot papers printed will be accounted for, dispelling fears of ballot stuffing.
Chebukati assured the nation of the agency’s readiness to manage the forthcoming General Election; affirming that measures were already in place to curb election irregularities.
“We’ve printed 20,800,000 and this is because each ballot booklet has 50 ballot papers and you cannot print one ballot paper in a 50-ballot-paper booklet and therefore we have to round it up,” he explained while reacting to criticism on the printing of ballot papers in excess of the 19.6 million registered voters.
“Every ballot paper will be accounted for. Before voting begins, all the material will be recorded in the polling diary and after voting both the used and unused ballots will be accounted for,” he stated.
The Commission also received ballot papers for positions of Woman Representative and Member of County Assembly (MCA) which were yet to be delivered.
Election materials for Governor, Woman Representative and Senate elections started arriving in the country on July 18.
The Commission was forced to postpone a results transmission simulation exercise at the National Tallying Center on Monday following the demise of its Deputy ICT Director Chris Msandu whose body was recovered on Monday after he disappeared on Friday.
Initial reports indicated that Msando was tortured before meeting his cruel death, IEBC Chairperson demanding an investigation to net his killers.
“There is no doubt that he was tortured and murdered. I know postmortem will be done. In our mind as a Commission, the only issue is who killed him and why. That is the question that must be answered,” Chebukati said.
A postmortem on the late ICT director is due Tuesday.