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IEBC to probe voter listing malpractices as exercise ends today

A section of Nairobi residents at Kenya Institute of Curriculum development (KICD) in a last minute rush to register as voters, as the clock ticks to the deadline, on February 13 2017. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had ruled out the possibility of extending voter registration exercise beyond February 14. {PHOTO: DAVID NJAAGA/STANDARD}

The electoral commission is investigating reported cases of malpractices in Nairobi in the voter registration that ends today.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chief Executive Ezra Chiloba yesterday noted they had received complaints from the public that something wrong could be happening at Nairobi’s Union Towers building and chief’s camp inside the Wilson Airport.

“We have established that there was a commotion at Union Towers’ seventh floor on Sunday involving members of the Somali community but our security team managed to intervene,” said Mr Chiloba.

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He noted the building’s sixth and seventh floors house a university and the biometric voter registration (BVR) kits found there were supplied by the commission.

“What we are investigating is why the registration is going on beyond the stipulated time of 5pm and why those involved just belong to one community,” said the IEBC boss.

He expressed concern that the whole matter could be influenced by politicians transferring voters from regions to Nairobi to back up their support base.

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“I have also been notified by senior politicians in Nairobi that something fishy could be happening in South B and C estates and that is why we are keen to know what is happening at Wilson Airport. We have sent our security team there,” Chiloba said.

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The Standard reporters posed as those who want to register and were allowed into the building at 6.20pm on Sunday.

When The Standard photographer started taking pictures of the happenings, a team of three young men who had Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) identity cards, whipped out pistols and ordered us out.

The Standard also established for the last three days, two buses have been ferrying people of Somali origin through Deep West Bar to the Wilson Airport rear gate for registration at the chief’s camp.

Yesterday, three National Youth Service (NYS) staff were arrested while allegedly registering voters using a BVR kit at the PCEA Beula Church in Runda, Nairobi.

Police said they were informed there was a registration exercise going on at the church compound before they went and nabbed the suspects. The officers also seized a bus belonging to NYS parked outside the compound.

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But Director General Richard Ndubai said since last year they had been registering community youth for identification, payment and management.

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“Sometimes they use wrong documents. We are registering them biometrically for purposes of easy identification and management. It is nothing to do with IEBC registration,” he said.

He added that the exercise was about the Huduma card which the youth are issued with to help them get services at various banks.

Senior deputy NYS Director General Capt Sam Michuki said the staff were recruiting new NYS staff to be engaged in ongoing construction exercises.

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