KENYA: Speed up Preparations to Avoid Chaos, Religious Leaders Urge Electoral Body

NAIROBI MARCH 24, 2017(CISA) – Religious leaders in Kenya have called on the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to speed up preparations for the August 8 General elections.

“The journey towards August 2017 elections has been challenged by hindrances arising from logistical, legal and political factors. This has called to question the readiness for the country to hold peaceful, free, fair and credible polls. This is our great concern and should be addressed immediately,” the religious leaders said in a communiqué read by Bishop Alfred Rotich on March 23 at Ufungamano House, Nairobi.

The religious leaders under the umbrella body of Multi Sectoral Forum (MSF) were speaking at the end of a two-day Multi Sectoral Forum (MSF II) themed, “Securing Elections 2017.”

The leaders noted that the voter register has not been cleaned five months to elections despite many questioning its integrity.

“The integrity of the register of voters has been called to question…voter cleaning has not been done, which raises the risk of going to August polls with a disputed register,” said the religious leaders.

They called on the political parties to conduct free and fair nominations noting that, “Violence and lack of transparency may turn to be a reflection on the August Polls.”

“Conducting shoddy nominations could result in the possibility of carrying such injustices to the August Elections and lead to outbreak of pre and post Election Violence,” said the clerics.

They cautioned against late procurement of Voter Identification and Result Transmissions devices noting that this will derail the electoral process.

“The MSF notes that with only 137 days to the General Elections, the Electoral Voter Identification Devices and the Results Transmission systems have not been procured. The time limitation means that there might not be adequate time for deployment of the systems and adequate training of the staff to operate them…,” said the leaders.

On March 21, IEBC cancelled a tender for the installation of the Kenya Integrated Elections Management Systems for the Polls noting that it had “lost important lead time due to litigation over the tender and that the technology will not be in place on time.”

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