Civil society has questioned the preparedness of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct the August elections.
The ten civil societies of the Angaza Movement have argued that the IEBC is not ready, citing a number of indicators, among others: interference in voter registration, fairness in the procurement of election materials, security of election technology, ambiguity in the election timetable, and non-allocation of polling stations.
According to Annet Nerima of the Human Rights Commission of Kenya, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati’s recent comment on the interference of the electoral technology system that led to the transfer of voters to the registry poses a serious threat to the security of voter data. “With almost five years to prepare, it seems the IEBC has been caught off guard, raising fears that all is not well within the institution. The allegation of about one million missing voters must be clarified to avoid changing, deleting or amending voter registers without any trace,” Nerima said. She further argued that the foundation of a reliable election is a definitive and verifiable voter register, and that the perception by Kenyans of a faulty register will only harm the outcome of the election.
During a press conference at the KHRC offices, activists issued a joint statement criticising the ‘unclear’ procurement of election equipment.
Vice President William Ruto expressed concern about the possibility of voter transfers in the IEBC register.
With 63 days to the election, activists have called for weekly updates on IEBC activities to avoid suspicion and voter apathy. Julie Matheka, programme manager at the International Commission of Jurists – Kenya, urged Wafula Chebukati’s organisation to provide regular updates on the procurement, configuration and testing of the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) kits before 9 August.