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Harriette Igonanga (left) and Francis Wanderi (right) appear before the IEBC Selection Panel on Monday/National Assembly

Kenya

Candidates seeking IEBC slots propose measures to resolve voter suppression, electoral fraud

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 12 – Harriett Igonanga, a candidate eyeing the IEBC commission slot, has fronted for the adoption of standard operating procedures that will track the performance of various systems in the electoral commission to enhance efforts o tame electoral frau ed.

Speaking during her interview on Monday, Igonanga noted that in order to minimize electoral offences, the commission should also come up with performance metrics that will track the conduct of  IEBC staff and the political class.

“At the end of every election cycle, we should be able to track the conduct of each and every electoral staff and the political class. Through the proper institutional framework, including checks and balances in terms of auditing processes, procedure manuals, we should be able to intercept these risks and track each issue that takes place in an institution,” she told the interviewing panel.

The former Law Society of Kenya Vice-Chairperson made the remarks while highlighting the gap in the implementation and compliance to law on electoral offences adding that the IEBC must demonstrate that any breach of law is punishable.

During the interview, she pointed out that she will lobby for Parliament to place enough funding for the commission even as she proposed the creation of IEBC fund.

Igonanga who has also served in finance committees at the Kibabii and Machakos universities said that if appointed as the commissioner, she will also reach out to donors to ensure activities within the commission are supported and that the staff are well trained.

“Given an opportunity to serve in this organization, I will lobby for IEBC to get more funding and lobby parliament to ensure it puts better budget to ensure it gets enough funding to run its activities over a five year period,” Igonanga noted.

The former Chairperson of Export Processing Zones Francis Wanderi, who also appeared before the panel, another candidate who appeared before the panel also said that if appointed as an IEBC commissioner, he will engage all government agencies to effectively address the issue of voter apathy in the country.

While appearing before the seven-member panel, Wanderi said he will look for ways to ensure enforcement of voter bribery through partnership with security agencies, the Ministry of Interior, and the Judiciary.

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“I would seek for interrogation between enforcing agencies and support and create legislation that will make someone pay for bribing voters, it is there but enforcement has been a problem,” Wanderi said.

He identified network issues as the main technology failure that hindered the transmission of election results during the previous election.

If appointed as commissioner, Wanderi said he will partner with various stakeholders to educate the populace on the need to vote and more importantly without being bribed.

“I will try to negotiate with the registrar of voters to get manpower and register voters, while IDs are being issued, we will get our team on the ground so that they can register voters simultaneously,” he said while proposing measures that will reduce voter suppression.

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