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Jubilee to launch membership cards for elections

Sunday January 8 2017

Jubilee Party secretariat head Raphael Tuju (centre) with other party members.

Jubilee Party secretariat head Raphael Tuju (centre) with other party members. He wants the IEBC to explain anomalies in voter listing. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP. 

By WANJOHI GITHAE
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President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto will on Friday meet all aspirants vying on Jubilee Party ticket as they introduce a party membership card aimed at creating a level playing ground in nominations.

The President, who jets out to India on Tuesday for an official visit, will be back for the Kasarani auditorium event on Friday.

The smart card will be made available to all party members.

Unlike in the past where party cards were made of paper, the new-look card will be plastic, with a bar code unique to each member.

The party has shipped in 10 million cards and more will be brought as demand increases.

Once a member gets the card, they will send their name, identity card number, mobile number and the unique card number on its surface, thereby activating it at the headquarters database.

The text will be sent to 30553 for free. But to acquire the card, one will be required to pay Sh20.

The party will then be able to access the number of members and their spread across the country by nomination day.

This card will then be used to access polling stations by party members, where it will be verified by scanning and thereafter authenticated using a smart phone by polling agents for one to vote.

“The authentication will be done by a Jubilee application to be downloaded by polling officials using smart phones. It has been developed by Team Uhuru and young digital geeks,” said a source.

Once the card has been used to vote, it cannot be reused for that particular poll since a second verification and authentication will be flagged down by party headquarters.

These are some of the new initiatives that Jubilee Party has invested in as it moves to ensure its nominations are above board.

The Nation also learned that Mr Alex Chamwanda, a former political reporter with leading television stations, has been tapped as the communications advisor from February.

Sources indicated that more than 16,000 aspirants have so far registered with the party to vie for various seats.

HAVE AN UPPER HAND

It is expected that, to have an upper hand, aspirants may buy the cards en masse and dish them out to their supports.

“If you buy say 50,000 cards and after a week you come for more, our data base will show whether they have all been authenticated. It’s only after we are sure they have been exhausted that more will be sold to a particular aspirant.

“Perhaps, the aspirants may have to buy airtime for their supporters, too, so as to be on the safe side,” said a Jubilee insider heavily involved in the smart card department.

Mr Rapahel Tuju, head of Jubilee secretariat, said preparations were underway for the Kasarani event.

“At Kasarani, only those who have registered with us will be coming. And we will be contacting them ahead of the event,” he said. The move to have a smart card will also avoid ballot stuffing.

“We want to eliminate any whiff of shambolic nominations. Through this card, we will reduce tension that has been there because of the disputed interim officials who were announced a few weeks back,” said Mr Tuju.

He termed the decision to introduce the cards as revolutionary and added that the party would still invite the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to supervise and oversee the nominations.

“We will still call them. We want a process that is completely above board,” he said.