IEBC hiring officials to try electoral offenders
Posted Tuesday, July 17 2012 at 23:30
- Staff being recruited ahead of next poll are investigators and prosecutors
The polls agency is hiring investigators and prosecutors to deal with electoral offenders in the next General Election.
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chief executive officer James Oswago said reforms undertaken by the government have given the team “teeth” to handle electoral offences that could be committed by politicians and voters.
Unlike the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK), which used to cite lack of “teeth” as an excuse for its failure to deal with offenders, Mr Oswago said this time round they were ready to take action.
“We are now in a position to investigate any offences and prosecute any cases without referring to another authority. We have a core team of investigators and prosecutors at the commission,” he said over the phone on Tuesday.
Mr Oswago said to fortify their hold on offences that could be committed at the 40,000 polling stations and hundreds of tallying stations, they have created the investigations and prosecutions departments.
Mr Oswago said interviews for potential prosecutors and investigators were being conducted as part of the preparations for the elections expected to be held on March 4, 2013.
“The two departments have been formed and they will supervise a large pool of investigators and prosecutors. Applicants are being interviewed and we want to see how we can work with other arms of the government,” he said.
Mr Oswago said the Elections Act now contains all the offences, which gives the commission the swiftness to act. “The Elections Act has consolidated all the offences and domiciled them in one law which is easier to access,” he said.
The offences include falsifying and buying voters cards, double registration, exercising undue influence, bribery, use of violence, use of public resources and use of national security organs to gain advantage.