Voter ID buying rife, Kwale administrator says

Voter Registration kwale iebc

IEBC officials register a voter during an Enhanced Continous Voter Registration (ECVR) exercise at Mwakingwena Primary School in Ukunda, Kwale County. 

Photo credit: Siago Cece | Nation Media Group

Kwale County Commissioner Gideon Oyagi has claimed that candidates are purchasing identity cards from voters ahead of Tuesday’s elections.

Mr Oyagi said that authorities had received reports that candidates were targeting voter IDs in their opponents’ strongholds.

Buying the IDs means their opponents will have fewer people voting for them, thus reducing their chances of winning.

“This is a dangerous move that is denying voters their democratic right to vote,” he said.

He said this was an electoral offence and anyone found committing the crime would be arrested. He cautioned residents against falling prey to such illegalities.

“We are working together with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to have those who are involved in this vice punished,” he said.

He asked people who have been approached to sell their documents to report the cases to the police.

More security officers have also been deployed across the county.

“No police officer is on leave. We will also be working round the clock to ensure that there is a conducive environment for the elections and that they are peaceful,” he said.

The IEBC has also been briefing candidates on preparations for the polls.

Msambweni Returning Officer Omara Japheth assured the public that the elections will be free and fair.

“We have agreed that we will work closely with the candidates, including their agents, so that the voting and the counting processes are smooth. They must follow all election rules” he said.

In Lamu, voters have been assured of security during the elections.

County Commissioner Irungu Macharia said Mkomani, Hindi, Faza and Baharini wards are on police radar.

“We’ve also identified some politicians who we feel are a threat to peace and unity here. We’re tracking them and their activities day and night to ensure they don’t incite citizens,” Mr Machaira said.


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