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IEBC, Judiciary, police ready for elections

A special group of magistrates has been trained to specifically handle election cases in preparation for the August 8 polls.

Chief Justice David Maraga on Thursday said the Judiciary was ready to deal with cases filed during campaigns as well as post-election petitions.

The magistrates, he said, would help fast-track poll cases so that justice is served on time.

“Elections mean a lot to stability of a country, it means power is being transferred,” he said.

“If not taken properly, we know challenges are bound to be experienced. Therefore, we need to be prepared to avoid what happened in the past,” he added.

He spoke during a meeting with the National Council on Administrative of Justice, the civil society and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) at Safari Club in Nairobi.

VIOLENCE

The CJ urged various institutions mandated with investigation and prosecution of election-related offences to instil public confidence.

He has also warned that action would be taken against politicians who make inflammatory utterances and incite the public to violence.

The National Council on Administrative of Justice, chaired by CJ Maraga, includes the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the Office of the Director of Public prosecutions and the National Police Service Commission.

According to IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati, the commission is ready to hold the August 8 General Election.

IEBC, he said, is currently collecting registration details after the mass voter registration that ended on March 6.

A draft register will be presented for verification from May 10, Mr Chebukati said.

105 PROSECUTORS

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko said a total of 105 prosecutors had been assigned election-related offences.

“We have also set up an elections secretariat that will have a 24-hour call system connected to the 47 counties,” said Mr Tobiko.

He raised concerns over what he said was a disconnect in investigation of election offences.

“As it stands, you find the DCI handling incitement cases while the cohesion agency handles hate speech,” he said.

“How is that different? We need to be better coordinated so that we don’t have two agencies having two files on the same thing,” he said.

Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss Ndegwa Muhoro said police were prepared to handle any cases of election violence.

“With the increased interest in governor and Member of the County Assembly positions, we foresee potential of some sort of violence in almost all counties. But we’re ready to handle them,” said Mr Muhoro.

Justice Mohamed Ibrahim, the chair of the Judiciary Committee on Elections, said no judicial official would be allowed to go on leave until after the election.

He said that the committee had put in place measures to guarantee its success in handling elections disputes.

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