The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says preparations for the August polls are on course and there is no cause of alarm.
The commission has reassured the country that it is ready for the August polls and mechanisms have been put in place to recover on any lost time, including mitigation measures that may arise from court cases.
IEBC members are holding a seven day retreat, where new commissioners who came on board in January and senior staff are expected to undergo a rigorous induction to prepare them for the task ahead.
The commission was reacting to opposition claims that it is ill-prepared for the polls just six months away.
The opposition Nasa coalition has claimed the commission is shoddily prepared for this year’s General Election, stating that it has breached timelines for the polls.
The opposition claims the commission claims months behind schedule in its election preparation timelines.
Nasa lawyer James Orengo, on behalf of the opposition, wrote to the commission demanding an explanation of the delays so far and an update on its state of preparedness.
Nasa which brings together the Orange Democratic Movement, Ford Kenya, Wiper Democratic Movement and Amani National Congress parties raised concern over the delay in the installation of the Kenya Integrated Election Management Systems
Speaking today on the sidelines of the retreat taking place at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha, however, IEBC Chief Executive Dr Ezra Chiloba said the commission is doing everything possible to recover on any lost time.
NO CAUSE FOR ALARM
“There is no cause of alarm. We are doing everything possible to ensure we recover on any lost time,” Dr Chiloba said on Thursday.
“The reason we are here is to ensure that we have all our processes are fast tracked so that come August 8, we are able to deliver on our mandate,” he said.
“We know we have cases in court and we are likely to see many more coming up. But the question is what can we as a commission to mitigate on outcomes that could interfere with operations of our timelines,” he stated.
The High Court recently cancelled a tender for ballot paper printing, which the commission has appealed against.
As part of the preparations for the August polls, IEBC says its senior electoral commissioners will undergo a crash programme and election managers will also undergo special training.
“What is critical now is that we have a team of new commissioners who came into office on January and we are taking them through a rigorous induction programme on a number of areas for the teams as fast as possible,” he stated.
Electoral managers from select African countries that have recently held elections are also attending the forum to share their experiences. Kenyan constitutional experts are also in attendance.