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Audit of voters list starts on Friday, says electoral commission

The planned audit of the voter’s register will begin on Friday, the electoral commission has announced.

The auditing, which was supposed to begin on December 2 and end on December 31 before being presented to Parliament by January 14, is aimed at addressing the issues raised by Parliament.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission said that the successful bidder will be unveiled on Friday, noting the delay was occasioned by a requirement in law to have the contract come to live 14 days after its signing.

“The audit had delayed because the successful bidder signs a contract after 14 days. It is a legal requirement and this comes into effect on December 16,” said Mr Andrew Limo, the commission’s communication and public affairs manager.

At least 12 firms including three of the world’s largest auditing firms- KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and Ernst & Young- bid for the tender to scrutinise the 15.85 million listed voters.

Other firms that bid include PKF, Lamtech and Compton, among others. Mr Limo said the successful firm will determine the time the audit will take.

DELAY OF AUDIT

Auditing of the voter’s roll was one of the emotive issues under heated discussion when a 14-member bi-partisan select committee deliberated on the exit of the Issack Hassan-led team. Cord has banked its hopes on the audit of the register it says was not up to date.

Mr Limo was answering queries from Nation following a statement by religious leaders who questioned the delay of the planned audit.

Meanwhile, the electoral commission is recruiting 18,000 officials to manage the voter registration exercise set to start next month.

The officials will be distributed in various polling centers in all the 1,450 wards around the country . IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba said that priority will be given to ICT trained applicants during the recruitment.

Under the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya chaired by Bishop Alfred Rotich, the team asked the electoral commission to clarify whether the audit will happen concurrently with the second phase of voter registration.

“We especially are concerned that the audit of the voter’s register, which is scheduled to take place this month, is yet to commence,” they said in a joint statement read in Nairobi.

MASS VOTER REGISTRATION

“Considering that the mass registration of voters is to be preceded by the audit of the register, we urge the commission secretariat to clarify whether the two processes will be undertaken concurrently.”

The commission plans a second phase of mass voter registration between January 16 and end February 15 targeting over 6.7 million unregistered voters. 

The joint statement was read by Sheikh Adan Wachu, the Supreme Council of Muslims of Kenya (Supkem) Secretary General, and Archbishop Stephen Marete of the Organisation of African Instituted Churches.

The religious team on Wednesday also demanded the electoral commission to block any politician who has engaged in hate speech from the 2017 General Election, warning that some of them were now organising gangs to attack opponents.

The new demand by the team could lock at least 10 politicians who have either been accused of hate speech, charged with it or are being investigated for the charge.

“We the religious leaders are concerned with the hate mongering and divisive political rhetoric among political leaders,” they said.

“Political leaders are now organising gangs to attack supporters of other leaders in this downward spiral of violence and denials.”

The religious leaders said that they were committed to its role to educate Kenyans ahead of the next General Election.

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