IEBC downplays claims of plot to rig polls

By Kevin Wachira/Rose Welimo

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries commission IEBC is now calling for sobriety in the ongoing voter registration exercise.

IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati while downplaying claims of a scheme to rig the August election said concerns raised by opposition leader Raila Odinga over double registration were being addressed.

In a statement to newsrooms, IEBC chairperson says, “We wish to confirm that some of the numbers highlighted by the CORD Leader are indeed part of the 128,926 ID numbers that are subject of the ongoing cleanup process. For the avoidance of doubt, most of these numbers were keyed into the system during the 2012 registration drive and do not relate to the current Mass Voter Registration campaign. This is a historical issue and should not be used to discredit the ongoing registration drive.”

The IEBC attributes the duplication of some 128 thousand ID numbers in the BVR data system to data entry errors at the time of registration or attempts by individuals to register more than once.

The Commission therefore assures Kenyans that the process of cleaning up the register is in good hands.

The IEBC boss said the commission is aware that there are Kenyans whose ID numbers read 00000002 or 00000023 clarifying that such numbers could appear as a single digit 2 or double digit 23 meaning that the two formats are different when it comes to identification.

On Wednesday, CORD leader Raila Odinga claimed that a former commissioner at IEBC who was dropped as cabinet secretary is spearheading a scheme to manipulate the voter register by sneaking in ghost voters.

Raila alleged that an extensive verification of the register had revealed that people from Jubilee strongholds without proper identity cards had been enlisted as new voters and a sitting Cabinet Secretary is also part of the plans.

He said this during an impromptu voter registration verification tour at Lavington Primary school in Dagoretti North constituency.

Raila claims some people have registered as voters using odd numbers instead of their identity cards and in some cases some have used the same number to register.