The Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) begun a month long voter registration exercise set to end on 15th March. Over the period, the Commission hoped to register 4 million voters.
- 17th February: IEBC Integrity – The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Corruption (EACC) started investigating Kenyan officials implicated in the “Chicken Gate scandal.” Isaack Hassan, the current chair of the IEBC is alleged to have been involved and the case has already secured convictions in the UK.
The Chicken gate scandal involved Smith & Ouzman, a British firm that specializes in printing of security documents like ballot papers and exam certificates. The company allegedly paid bribes to Kenya’s Interim Independent Electoral Commission of Kenya (IIEC) and the Kenyan National Examination Council (KNEC) officials between 2006 and 2013. Will the lingering integrity issues affect IEBC’s credibility? Read our blog here.
- Our Analysis: The IEBC did not give the much needed guidance and information about the mass voter registration exercise in good time. Despite their continuous request for more funds there’s little evidence of voter education as can be confirmed by the results. Interestingly, countries with far bigger eligible voters spend less than what IEBC requested with impressive results which begs the question: are the dynamics here too different or the commission is over relying on financial resource at the expense of strategy?
Admittedly, regions where leaders called on people to register had impressive results but that was partly because leaders from these regions claimed IEBC was not fully in control of the exercise and accused the government of interferences.
The argument over voter apathy also holds little water as most eligible voters were turned away for having old generation ID cards when IEBC should have foreseen that challenge and acted proactively to ensure nobody was turned away. In other cases, there were fewer Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits prompting some individuals to make unsubstantiated allegations over favoritism by the IEBC.
Read our blog assessing the voter registration (here)