IEBC woes continue as election looms in Kenya

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IEBC officials inspect ballot boxes at Muguru ACK Church hall ahead of their use

The Kenya Integrated Elections Management Systems (KIEMS) on Friday confirmed the arrival of the kits.

By Njeri Kimani, editorial@alleastafrica.com

NAIROBI – Kenya has received 10, 080 more kits in preparation for the August 8th General elections.

The Kenya Integrated Elections Management Systems (KIEMS) on Friday confirmed the arrival of the kits.

KIEMS is the main supplier of the supplier to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) kits.The additional kits now bring the total tally to 35 000 kits, with 10 000 more expected in the country in the next few weeks.

They include the innovative MorphoTablet™ 2 of Safran Identity and Security and are part of a consignment of 45,000 kits order placed by the IEBC with the company ahead of the main polls.

At least 11,000 kits have already been distributed countywide in the nationwide voter verification exercise taking place in the whole country.

Safran Identity and Security is providing an ample resolution to enable the IEBC verify the registered voters   by its latest innovations in biometrics. This will enable IEBC to facilitate a smooth and reliable voting process

The arrival of the kits has enabled Kenyans to breathe a sigh of relief especially after the nomination exercise. Jubilee Party had to postpone its nomination exercise in April citing that they had underestimated the number of voters. Kenyans expressed concern that there could be a repeat on this, especially since some of the BVR kits had failed during the 2013 elections.

However IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba said they had sealed the loopholes and were now ready for the polls.He admitted that voter registration verification process was already testing the KIEMS kits, and the election body officials utilizing the already available ones.

Meanwhile, IEBC faced a different challenge after their toners ran out of ink. The printing of certificates for candidates at the Kenya Technical Training College was stalled for two hours as they waited for clearance process to recommence.

Timothy Wanyonyi was forced to have his certificate in black and white after IEBC commissioners decided to go that road.

He was however confident of his win despite the setbacks.

“I am sure that we will clinch the seat despite the hitches,” he added.

Liberty Party candidate Sammy Owino was the first one to get his certificate after the long wait. He was followed by Amin Walji of Amani National Congress.

Meanwhile IEBC is at crossroad after receiving 106 candidates with integrity issues.

The Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) Chair Eliud Wabukala issued a report indicating the huge number of politicians seeking elective position from the national to the ward level.

IEBC recommended that those found to be in breach of the law would have their certificates withdrawn. According to the report, all presidential candidates have been cleared from integrity issues. However, eleven governor aspirants, on senator, two women representative, 14 members of national assembly and 14 members of county assembly had issues to clarify to the commission questioning their integrity.

Meanwhile IEBC Director for ICT James Muhati was sent on a compulsory leave following accusation that he had refused to cooperate in an ongoing audit of ICT systems.

In a meeting lead by Chebukati and CEO Ezra Chiloba, the commissioners sent Muhati home for a month.

They then appointed manager Chris Msando as the acting director. The move follows Muharis lack of response to a memo by his colleague, the director of Audit, Risk and Compliance Obadiah Keitany dated 17th May.

In the internal memo, Keitany accused Muhati of refusing to cooperate on verification of the commission’s software and hardware licenses and certificates.

“We have noted that there is little cooperation from your directorate with regard to provision of requested for purposes of concluding the exercise. This is contrary to the PFM regulations 2015 section 162 (3-4) which grants the directorate of Audit and Risk ‘unrestricted, direct and prompt access to records, officials or personal relevant to performance of audit function’.”

“Kindly note that we are proceeding to conduct the exercise noting your unwillingness to provide the necessary information,” read Keitany’s memo. It was also copied to Chebukati, Chiloba and Deputy CEO Support services Marjan Hussein.

In another  surprising move IEBC also has reshuffled its officials countrywide. It also scrapped off the position of regional coordinators and instead appointed 47 county managers.

It has however retained the 17 regional coordinators and promoted another 30 officials have been promoted to make the 47 county managers.

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