Politicians in Upper Eastern warned not to import voters

Thursday January 12 2017

Upper Eastern IEBC coordinator Liban Mohamed,

Upper Eastern IEBC coordinator Liban Mohamed, who has warned politicians, especially in Marsabit and Isiolo, against ferrying in voters from other regions. PHOTO | VIVIAN JEBET | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By VIVIAN JEBET
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The Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission (IEBC) has warned politicians in Upper Eastern against bringing in voters from other regions.

Upper Eastern IEBC coordinator Liban Mohamed has said the commission is concerned that some politicians in Isiolo and Marsabit counties are transferring voters so that they can vote for them in the August elections.

Speaking Thursday during a stakeholders’ forum, Mr Mohamed said the transferred voters had surpassed the number of those registered.

Cases of voters being transported in buses from their home areas for registration in other areas have been reported in the region.

Mr Liban said transporting voters from other regions is criminal and could cause conflict.

He urged politicians to instead mobilise the electorate to register as voters where they live.

LACK OF IDS

“We are concerned that the number of voters who transfer to other wards, constituencies and regions is higher compared to the newly registered voters,” he said.

The IEBC official cited lack of national identification cards and voter apathy as a challenge facing the exercise.

Only 4,000 people in Isiolo County had registered as voters in the first mass voter registration in 2016.

The IEBC is aiming to register 26,000 voters in both Isiolo North and Isiolo South constituencies.

At least 21,000 people registered as voters in the previous exercise in Marsabit County, with 16,000 transferring from wards, constituencies and other counties.

Isiolo County Commissioner George Natembeya said politicians should cease bringing in voters because that might result in conflicts.

“Politicians [ferrying in] voters from other regions should stop immediately. It is against the law and we will not allow them to cause conflict during elections,” said the administrator.