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Man wants Jersey Island millions used in voter listing

On March 7, the electoral agency suspended the application for new registration and change in registration of voters in Kenya and for Kenyan citizens living outside the country until September 6, a month after the General Election.

A man has petitioned Parliament to fast track the process of returning to Kenya more than Sh380 million stashed abroad to be utilized on the mass voter registration to accommodate all prospective voters.

This follows a decision by the authorities in Jersey Island in UK agreed to return the funds that belonged to Windward Trading Ltd that is associated with former Kenya Power boss Samuel Gichuru to Kenya.

The funds were confiscated by the Royal Court of Jersey in February 2016 after the company, pleaded guilty to four counts of laundering the proceeds of corruption.

David Gesicho said the lawmakers should push for a continues voter registration and the funds be spent for the exercise and to convince more Kenyans that they should be actively involved in choosing their leaders instead of waiting to just complain about poor service delivery.

RELEVANCE

Parliament, he says, should engage the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to seek a way of ensuring more Kenyans are registered as voters before the Kenyans go to the polls.

“Parliament should fast track this petition for it to have relevance otherwise it will be overtaken by events, given that the general election is barely five months away,” Mr Gesicho said.

He cited a petition by advocate Emmanuel Mwagambo Mwagonah seeking the removal of auditor general Edward Ouko from office, saying it is possible for parliament to move with speed as other government agencies engage the UK government.

This is despite a court order requiring IEBC to continue with the registration until May 17, exactly 60 days to the August 8 General Election.

VOTER REGISTER

The IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said the decision is meant to allow the commission to focus on auditing of the voter register besides, other urgent preparations.

But, Mr Gesicho has argued that the voter registration can continue as from March 27 to April 30, as the commissioners undertake other measures to guarantee a credible poll.

Kenya and the UK signed an agreement on March 3 this year paving the way for the return of the money, but, it is not clear how the funds will be spent.

The UK government can decide to hand over the funds and leave the government to decide on how it should be utilized or agree on specific projects that should benefit from the money.

Last year, some 52 million shillings from the “Chickengate” scandal that involved Kenyan election and examination officials who were bribed by UK-based printing firm Smith and Ouzman was also recovered.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Chief Executive Officer Halakhe Waqo said the money could be used to purchase ambulances for Kenyan hospitals.

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