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KPMG to use birth, death registers in voters roll audit

Audit firm KPMG will use death and birth registers in a rigorous audit of the roll of voters that may lead to thousands of Kenyans recommended to be struck off the register.

The firm said it will also use the 2009 population census to assess, based on growth projections, the number of voters in a particular area before making recommendations to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The global audit firm, one of the three of the biggest audit companies in the world, won the tender to scrutinise the 19.63 million-people register, a process that should end by April 29.

After the 21-day audit, the firm will then report to the IEBC who will strike out those invalidly registered, correct those whose details were erroneously entered, and fill out gaps existing in the register ahead of the voter register verification on May 10.

PUBLIC TRUST

During the verification, registered voters will check whether their biometric details entered in the roll are the correct ones.

“Voter register has been used as the primary instrument used to perpetrate voter mischief. The audit is therefore to build public trust in the register and provide confidence that it can provide a foundation for a free, fair and credible election,” said Mr Josphat Mwaura, the Chief Executive of KPMG-East Africa in a press statement.

He went on: “We will vet and verify every single name in the register against third party data.”

He insisted that while they will make recommendations on irregular registrations, the final decision on who should be in the roll of voters lies with the IEBC.

The firm said that since Kenyans use either their identification cards or their passports to register as voters, getting detailed data from the National Registration of Persons, and the Department of Immigration Services, would help in cleaning up the roll of voters.

RIG POLL

Earlier this year, Opposition leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka claimed that some voters had been registered with invalid identification cards or expired passports.

They said this was a scheme to rig the poll in favour of Jubilee government.

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 Isaack Hassan-led team.

The opposition has banked its hopes on the audit of a register it says was not up to date, a scenario which they said contributed largely to its loss in 2017.

“You have been asking which register we are auditing. We are auditing the one that will be used in the August elections,” said Mr Gerald Kasimu, a KPMG partner.

The firm said it will also recommend systems changes to ensure that the register is not tampered with once it has been approved.

ACCURATE RECORDS

“We have to know who has access to the systems. Can a person at the IEBC from outside have access to the register, and have opportunity to tamper with it?” asked Mr Kasimu.

Mr Kasimu said KPMG will also report to the IEBC on cases of having the register posted in a publically-accessible online space that will be updated regularly.

“The aim of this audit is to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the records. We are going to look at the birth register, to ascertain if there are people who are in the register before the age of 18, and the death register to recommend removal of those who have died,” Mr Kasimu said.

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