IEBC owns up to illegal transfer of voters ahead of August polls

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The electoral commission has admitted illegal transfer of voters ahead of the August 9 elections is going on, and warned of stern action against its officers who are involved.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said it had launched investigations into the illegal transfer affecting its electronic register.

Chairperson Wafula Chebukati said any individual transferred without their knowledge will be returned to their correct voting station. He pointed out that the register is managed and owned by registration officers in the 290 constituencies and the 47 counties, which are fully in charge of it. However, any activity on the register was blocked after May 4, for verification.

“As a commission, we do not condone such, as it is against the rights of Kenyans under article 38 of the Constitution to be registered to vote in a place of their choice,” said Mr Chebukati.

Without one’s knowledge

“Cases of transfers without one’s knowledge shall be investigated. In fact, the commission has called for all the transfer forms which are already with us. If there are such cases, if there is any officer who was involved in such an illegal transfer, stern action will be taken against them,” he added.

According to an internal memo dated May 25, 2022, the commission said its preliminary analysis of the register of voters revealed that there could be some transfer of voters effected without the supporting statutory forms.

The electoral agency, however, did not disclose the number of regions affected or the number of irregular transfers done.

Consequently, the commission’s CEO Marjan Hussein directed its county election managers and senior election officers to reverse the irregular transfers as a matter of priority.

“This is to instruct you to urgently and immediately reverse all transfers that are not supported by any documentation, including application form and copy of identification document,” reads part of the letter copied to Mr Chebukati.

Mr Chebukati explained that transfers can only happen when one formally requests one and they are given a form, Form 1C, to fill before a registration officer effects the transfer.

Consequently, he said anyone who finds himself in a polling station where he did not intend to be, the commission will investigate and a reversal will be done.

EBC boss

“If you have not requested for transfer then you should not be transferred by anyone. Those who have complaints are free to inform us through a form we have provided and we will ensure they are put in the right place if there are movements that were not intended,” said the IEBC boss.

The commission is in the process of compiling the register to come up with a final one, he said, and urged the public to inform IEBC of such cases.

Mr Chebukati said the verification, set to end June on 2, is running alongside an audit of the register by KPMG.

“We want to call upon Kenyans to turn up to be verified biometrically. We also have an SMS platform as well as an online portal for one to verify,” he said.

At the end of the audit and verification, he said, the commission would come up with a final register that will be certified and then gazetted on or before June 9.

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