Training for polling clerks begins next week

The second batch of 6,000 Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits land at JKIA on November 2, 2012. Photo/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • Clerks will be trained on how to use the BVR kits

Training of 30,000 polling clerks who will be in charge of the registration of voters that was set for November 12 will now begin next week.

On Friday, the commission’s plans to kick-start fresh voter registration got a major boost after the last batch of over 6,000 Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits arrived in the country. Read (First batch of BVR kits arrive from Paris)

The clerks will be trained at various centres around the country after County Coordinators who were recently recruited to take charge of the regional electoral process are trained.

Safran Morpho instructors were in the country two weeks ago to train 50 Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) staff on use of the kits.

The training is designed in a double curriculum involving theory and practical and is expected to take a short time as the hired personnel are mostly computer literate.

IEBC Commissioner Wangai Muthoni told Nation that electoral agency was busy conducting inspection on the supplied kits before it can roll out its new programme.

“We are going to communicate with Kenyans very soon on the forward. What we are doing at the moment is thorough inspection to ensure everything is intact,” Ms Muthoni said.

The commission is set to announce its voter registration timetable next week after IEBC chairman Mr Ahmed Issack Hassan returns back from official trip abroad.

IEBC’s Corporate Affairs manager Ms Tabitha Mutemi urged Kenyans to get ready for the exercise once it starts adding that due to time constraints there will be no extension of time for the 30 day exercise.

“The last batch of BVR kits landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Friday 11pm via Martin Air cargo plane,” said Ms Mutemi.

Mr Hassan has called on parliament to support the amendment of two sections of the Elections Act to facilitate the recovery of time lost due to the delay in the delivery of the BVR kits.

The IEBC boss has also called for the amendment of section 6 (3) to reduce the minimum period by which the final register is gazzetted from 30 days to 21.

Apart from recruiting the registration clerks, the commission has also hired 47 returning officers and their deputies to take charge of the counties. The recruits are temporary staff.

Over 18 million Kenyans expected to register will access the BVR stations in 25,000 centre across the country.

IEBC will later stage a month long voter inspection exercise to allow the registered voters to verify their details.

In the recent Ndhiwa by-elections, some voters turned up with the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) cards used in 2007 even after they were replaced by the defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) indicating the need for massive voter education ahead of the March 4 elections.