Thursday, November 1, 2012

First batch of BVR kits arrive from Paris

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Isaack Hassan. Photo/FILE

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Isaack Hassan. Photo/FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ISAAC ONGIRI [email protected]

The first batch of 8,200 Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits arrived from Paris early Thursday restoring plans for the registration of 18 million voters expected to start on November 12. Read (Voter kits deal ‘exposes IEBC to additional costs’)

Officials from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) confirmed the equipment arrived in Nairobi on Thursday morning.

“About 8,000 BVR kits have arrived from France this morning (Thursday). Another batch of 6,000 is expected later on Saturday,” said IEBC’s head of Corporate Communications Ms Tabitha Mutemi.

The Treasury last week released Sh7.2 million shillings ahead of an expected loan of a similar amount from Canada to facilitate the release of 15,000 kits. Read (On the issue of biometric equipment from Canada, we were badly duped)

Ms Mutemi said that IT officials from the commission are at the moment inspecting the cargo at the airport before the official reception of the kits expected on Friday.

“IEBC will invite the media for presentation once inspection and assembling of the kits is finalised, ”Ms Mutemi said.

It is expected that the commission’s chairman Mr Ahmed Issack Hassan will officially announce the day voter registration will start at a media briefing on Friday.

About 22.5 million of Kenyans are qualified to register as voters but Mr Hassan said that the commission is only expecting 18 million to register.

A massive campaign to mobilise voters is expected to be put in place so as to attract a large number of Kenyans to register within one month due to time constraints.

“We want Kenyans to respond within a month because we will not extend the registration period. We will use the media and other available means to enhance our campaigns to target as many people as possible. We also expect politicians campaigning for various positions to pass this message to the targeted population,” Mr Hassan told a previous media briefing.

The delayed delivery of the equipment has been a major concern in the country forcing the shifting of various crucial timelines.

IEBC has already recruited over 30,000 polling officials who will now undergo the requisite training before the registration can start in two weeks’ time.

Safran Morpho the French aeronautical company tendered to supply the kits had withheld the deliveries over disagreements on the payment schedules as drawn in the contract and a memorandum of understanding signed between Kenya, Canada and the firm.

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