Nasa accuses electoral agency of shoddy poll preparations

The Opposition has accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of undertaking shoddy preparations for the August 8 General Election.

In a letter to the IEBC, the National Super Alliance (Nasa) says the commission has already breached the timelines for this year’s poll.

On Monday, Nasa lawyer and Siaya Senator James Orengo wrote to the commission demanding an urgent response on how the situation will be salvaged and have the elections go on as scheduled on August 8.
“There is no chance in the world that you will be able to comply with provisions of the Elections Act even within the next 60 days.

“In any event, the timelines have been breached,” he says in the letter dated February 20, 2017.

The alliance, formed only last month, is demanding an update on the ‘state of preparedness for the August 8 2017 General Election’. Nasa brings together the Orange Democratic Movement, Ford Kenya, Wiper Democratic Movement and Amani National Congress parties.

And of great concern to Nasa is the fact that IEBC has not yet awarded a tender for the supply, installation and management of the Kenya Integrated Elections Management system, which should handle the electronic voter identification, transmission of results and security of polls data.

TWO MONTHS LATE

The Elections Act requires that relevant technology to be used during the General Election should be procured at least eight months before the date of elections. This means the commission is already two months late.

On Monday, Nasa refused to take blame for contributing to delays through court cases.

Instead, Mr Orengo said the Opposition was alerted by information that the auditing tender was confined to consultancy services rather than entire clean-up of the list.

“The systems have not been integrated and with just over five months to go, you have not procured let alone put in place the technology for the conduct of the general elections (sic) on 8th August 2017,” the Opposition group complained, demanding a response before February 27, 2017.

With the elections fast approaching, the Commission has been bogged down by tight deadlines, legal challenges filed in Court and financial shortage.

But it accused the Commission of not challenging what it called unconstitutional barriers erected by the Interior Ministry to prevent the Commission from verifying claims of shared identity numbers from the National Registration Bureau and the Immigration Department.

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