UNTIL NOVEMBER 9

Reprieve as IEBC extends mass voter listing

Polls agency says new period dependent on an appeal case it has filed in court

In Summary

• The IEBC had targeted 1.5 million voters per week in the month-long national drive.

• But commission had attained 1.2 million voters as of Sunday last week.

Youths gather outside the CBD Huduma Centre at the City Square branch on November 1, 2021 to apply for voters’ card on the last day of registration. PHOTO/FREDRICK OMONDI
Youths gather outside the CBD Huduma Centre at the City Square branch on November 1, 2021 to apply for voters’ card on the last day of registration. PHOTO/FREDRICK OMONDI

Kenyans who have yet to register as voters may have until next Tuesday to be listed to take part in the August 9, 2022, General Election.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on Wednesday declared it would continue with the listing until its appeal against the court order requiring it to continue with the registration is determined.

The High Court prohibited the polls agency from closing the enhanced voter registration that was scheduled to end on Tuesday, November 2.

The commission chaired by Wafula Chebukati says the drive would continue in adherence to the ruling by Justice Eric Ogolla.

“The commission has directed that pending hearing of the case, registration process will continue taking place until further advised,” the statement reads.

The IEBC said it would obey the order, which will be in force until November 9, when the case between the parties will be heard.

“The commission properly advised on the legal and operational ramifications of the Court order, moved to court today (Tuesday) to challenge the order.”

Justice Ogolla ordered that the listing continue, following a case by Patrick Cherono who cited grounds that the commission had not met its target of six million new voters.

The IEBC had targeted 1.5 million voters per week in the month-long national drive. But acting CEO Hussein Marjan recently told the Star the commission had netted 1.14 million new voters.

The commission has over time decried cash shortages that hamper its plan for the mass voter listing, dismissing the possibility of a second round of the registration.

Chebukati during a recent meeting with the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly warned that insufficient funding could scuttle critical preparatory activities ahead of the general election.

The agency said it was facing financial constraints in undertaking key operations to facilitate tamper-proof polls.

“The drive is likely to close with a figure of slightly above 1.2 million new voters,” Marjan said, citing voter apathy and lack of identification documents among eligible persons.

With a paltry one million new voters, the numbers may not change significantly compared with the 19.6 million registered for the 2017 general election.

Political bigwigs angling to take over from President Uhuru Kenyatta after his exit in 2022 have been banking on the new voters to shore up their stakes.

The latest data released by the IEBC last week showed Nakuru and Meru counties posted the highest percentage turnout.