Raila Odinga faults electoral agency over voter roll clean-up

Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga has once again faulted the electoral commission as having failed to effectively respond to concerns being raised regarding the integrity of the audited voter register.

Mr Odinga further asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct a test run on the electronic voter identification devices (Evids) to ensure they work.

He reiterated that the opposition coalition will not accept manual voting to take place on August 8.

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader noted that serious integrity issues have been raised since last week, when the IEBC published the audited voters’ roll, but regretted that the commission has failed to respond to the concerns.

INTEGRITY ISSUES

“Serious integrity issues have been raised about the clean-up process but the commission has refused to respond to such concerns,” said Mr Odinga.

The former Prime Minister spoke when he received a delegation of aspiring MCAs from Kiambu County who joined his party ahead of the coalition’s planned campaign tour of the region on Tuesday.

READ: IEBC: 19.6m Kenyans eligible to vote

Last week, the IEBC was forced to suspend the verification of details of genuine voters after it emerged that the mobile SMS platform that it had given out for that purpose was generating responses for random entries like “0”, which are not valid identity card or passport numbers in Kenya.

Nasa has described the audit on the register by the audit firm KPMG as flawed and demanded that it be done afresh.

CROSSCHECK DATA

The Opposition has also called on the IEBC to cross check its data against that of the Integrated Population Registration Service, which has the latest information on the Kenyan population.

The coalition insists that voters who died as far back as 2013 are still in the voters’ register and further demanded that a dry run of all electoral materials be done to avert situations like the system failure in the 2013 General Election.

READ: IEBC: Fake voters will not take part in election

In the last elections, failure of technology resulted in the electoral commission reverting to manual voting and transmission of results.

However, the commission has defended the audit, saying 88,602 voters had been removed from the register.

It assured the public that Evids will be used to identify voters on election day to ensure integrity of the poll.

MANUAL VOTING

“We shall not accept manual voting in any polling station in Kenya,” said Mr Odinga. “The commission must ensure that Evids work so that dead voters do not cast their ballots.”

Mr Odinga is expected to lead his Nasa team on a whirlwind tour of Kiambu, the home county of his main rival in the General Election, President Uhuru Kenyatta of the ruling Jubilee Party.

Mr Odinga used Monday’s event to rekindle the memories of the struggles the two communities in central Kenya and Nyanza have waged in the past that ushered Kenya to a new era.

He cited the struggle for Independence, the ‘second liberation’ of the 1990s and the joining of hands between him and retired President Mwai Kibaki to kick Kanu out of power in 2002.

FIFTH PRESIDENT

“We want to assure the people of Kiambu that there is a lot that unites than divides us,” said Mr Odinga.

“We shall convince them that Nasa has the solution to their problems while Jubilee is the problem.”

Speaking on behalf of the delegation, which was led by Mr Mike Rubia, Juja MCA Samuel Gitau thanked Mr Odinga for the invitation and assured him that they would campaign for his bid to become the fifth President of Kenya.

“This is the first time this group is being hosted anywhere and we thank Mr Odinga for the privilege,” said Mr Gitau. “We welcome you to Kiambu and assure you of our support.”

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