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1,500 Kenyans in diaspora listed as voters

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has registered 1,521 Kenyans living abroad to participate in the next general election.

Only eligible Kenyan citizens in East Africa and South Africa were registered as new voters during the exercise that ran from February 20 to March 6.

South Africa registered the highest number of new voters at 665 followed by Tanzania (361).

Some 247 Kenyans registered in Uganda whereas Rwanda and Burundi had 201 and 47 new voters, respectively.

HIGH COMMISSION

Registration centres were at the Kenyan High Commission and consulates in the respective countries.

Kenyans living these countries will only be allowed to vote for the president, as was the case in 2013.

The commission had cited logistical and time constraints, as the reason why they could not register voters in the diaspora beyond the five countries.

Mr Chebukati said the law allows for progressive registration and voting by Kenyans in the diaspora and more countries will be included in future.

He said the commission, he said, made efforts to reach out to Kenyan communities living in the five countries, using the Kenyan High Commissions and Diaspora organizations to call upon them to come out and register.

“Several stakeholder forums were convened and the IEBC was able to sensitise and educate the voters on the registration process,” he said.

The commission registered 4,094 inmates during the seven-day registration exercise conducted between February 20 and 27 this year from 109 prisons across the country.

PRISONS

Another 1,856 prisoners applied for voter transfers given that they had already registered before they were imprisoned.

Kamiti Maximum Security Prison recorded the highest figure with 585 new registration. Others in the top-five in terms of number of registered voters were Shimo la Tewa Prison (257), Naivasha Main Prison (182), Embu Main Prison (173) and Meru Main Prison (164).

Registration did not take place at 11 prisons since there were no eligible voters in those centres. These are Shimo Borstal, Maara, Marimanti, Mutomo, Oloitok Tok, Shikusa Borstal Institution, Vihiga Prison, Kehancha Prison/ Kendege, Nyamira Prison, Kamiti YCTC and Kamae Girls’ Borstal Institution.

The IEBC is set to meet with political parties to iron out any outstanding issues with regard to compliance with the nomination rules.

“The political parties will thereafter be expected to make any changes, if any, and re-submit their nomination rules to the Commission,” Mr Chebukati said.

He revealed that at least 67 nomination parties submitted their nomination rules to the commission by March 2 deadline.

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