Kenyans expect efficiency and competency from electoral body, say Bishops.
Cisa News Africa – Nairobi.
“We, the Catholic Bishops, have consistently called for greater preparedness in handling elections in this country. We know from experiences that poor IEBC preparedness means high risk to our country,” reads a weekend statement signed by Archbishop Martin Kivuva the Chairman of Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB).
Clean-up voters register
In the statement, the Bishops asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to embark on cleaning up the voter register as required by the law so that only legitimate voters turn up to vote.
An audit on the voters’ register revealed anomalies in the 22.5 million raw database of registered voters. The data base indicated that 246 465 deceased voters were sill captured on the voters roll. Another anomaly consisted of 481 711 voters who were registered more than once; 226 143 voters who were registered with IDs that do not validly belong to them and a further 164 269 voters registered with invalid identification documents.
Every vote counts
“The elections we are about to conduct in under two months mean nothing if every vote does not count. All the agencies involved in the election process work for the voter. Their responsibility is to ensure the election outcome is free, fair and credible securing the leadership the voters prefer,” the Bishops said calling for vigilance from IEBC and respect for the voter.
While it still remains the mandate of the IEBC to conduct civic and voter education, the prelates hold that it is important that communication from IEBC is clear and informative of what is required of the voters.
Protect the process
“IEBC should make greater effort to assure voters with great transparency arrangements regarding the voting process: from the printing of ballots, transporting them to the polling centres, opening them before party agents, safe environment to cast votes, counting of votes and the whole process of transmitting results,” they said.
They stressed that “with greater transparency in the process, public trust will increase and therefore offer more legitimacy to the election outcome.”
Kenya will hold its General Elections on 9 August to elect the president, governors, senators, women representatives, members of parliament and members of county assemblies.