Thursday, November 22, 2012

IEBC says registration problems are minor

By NATION TEAM newsdesk@ke.nationmedia.com

The electoral team has said it was working round the clock to rectify glitches in the registration of voters.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan said though various problems had been reported around the country, the listing was going on well.

He said areas with problems were getting assistance from the command centre in Nairobi. (READ: Low turnout as voter listing starts)

“In places like Nakuru, we are registering more than 150 voters daily. This means we are doing very well and hope to beat the target. We are asking Kenyans to be patient,” he said.

He said the problems encountered so far mainly involved software security source code, power, the military operations in Turkana and Garissa and rains.

“We had to use helicopters to take the equipment to some areas but we are happy with progress,” the IEBC boss said.

He said the commission will hold weekly media briefings starting next Monday week to update Kenyans on progress.

In Coast, IEBC North Coast regional coordinator Annahstacia Mutua said technical and logistical problems encountered during the first days had been solved.

Coast deputy Provincial Commissioner Jacob Ruto  said security has been tightened and urged residents to register. “Don’t be afraid of threats as the government will protect you,” he said.

In North Eastern, the coordinator of Northern Land Watch, Mr Abdirahman Abdille, said many centres had not started registering voters.

He said the most affected was Wajir South where no one had been registered by Wednesday due to lack of passwords for the biometric voter registration kits.

“At most centres, there are no personnel or the kits are not working,” he said.

In Kajiado East constituency, Mr Hassan said wards where registration had not started will have to be gazetted first.

Voter registration, that kicked off on Monday, was blocked by aspirants in the constituency after registration centres at Kitengela Primary and Noonkopir Secondary schools were listed in Kitengela instead of Oloosirkon/Sholinke ward.

More than 40 politicians demanded that the process be stopped until the IEBC rectified the anomaly.

Mr Hassan on Wednesday said about 80 areas were affected countrywide. “Residents of Kitengela will have to wait until the correction is made in the Kenya Gazette,” he said, adding that registration will most likely start on Friday.

For the third day on Wednesday, Kitengela residents complained of being kept in the dark on the problem.  At St Monica Academy, more than 100 people gathered there blamed the IEBC.

“Why can’t we be told what is happening, I have been here for three days but nobody is telling me what I should do,” complained Mr Joseph Mokaya.

Reported by Isaac Ongiri, Ponciano Odonga and Bozo Jenje.

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