IEBC rules out extending voters registration as hundreds rush to beat deadline

 

This has forced thousands to Kenyans to rush and register as voters before the 48 hours timeline elapses, a look across several registration centers in Nairobi by Plive witnessed long meandering queues.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) boss, Wafula Chebukati ruled out the suggestion claiming timelines must be respected.

“We don’t have time. We are not extending the period for registration beyond February 14. No registration of voters will occur anywhere [after that date]," he told a local daily.

Chebukati said timelines given for preparations for the August 8 general election did not allow delays.

Leaders across the political divide had called for an extension of at least 14 days to give enough time pastoralists communities who haven’t registered yet because of the ongoing drought.

“This is too abrupt. Pastoralists affected by the drought have had no time to register. They should be considered,” Eldas MP, Adan Keynan beseeched the commission over the weekend to no avail.

IEBC CEO, Ezra Chiloba further also ruled out the prospect of using waiting cards to register as voters for thousands of youths who recently applied for the national identity cards.

IEBC cited limited time to do the clean-up  and verification of voters as stipulated in the constitution which is slated for February 14 to May 10.

Meanwhile two Rwandese athletes were arrested today at Chepkorio area of Keiyo South Sub County trying to register as voters using forged documents.

The athletes, Hakizimana Gervaiz and Hagenimana Oliver, are said to have had intentions of enlisting to participate in the August polls as Geoffrey Kimutai and Peter Kipkemboi respectively.

Keiyo South deputy commissioner, Esther Mwamure confirmed the incident, and said they suspect a local politician who is eyeing a parliamentary seat was assisting the foreigners to register so as to improve his numbers during the upcoming elections.

IEBC had initially set a target of registration six million new voters but low numbers saw the electoral commission readjust its numbers to half the target, so far 3.5 million Kenyans have registered as voters.

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