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IEBC launches biometric equipment to register students

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has set up biometric equipment at Universities and Institutions of higher learning to enable students to register as voters in their respective home constituencies.

IEBC Chairman, Mr Wafula Chebukati, said during registration, individual students will indicate  which centers they preferred to vote from in the August 9, 2022 General Election and the information will be relayed to their favored constituencies.

At the same time, Chebukati who spoke while officially launching the 30 day Countrywide Enhanced Continuous Voter Registration exercise, at Nakuru Athletics Club, pointed out that adults and non-students living and working away from their homes, can register as voters in their preferred centres at 52 Huduma Centers spread out in all major towns.

“Equipping Huduma Centers and institutions of higher learning with Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits, is intended to save  Kenyans from the trouble of traveling, as they will be able to select a registration center of their choice from wherever they will be,” stated the IEBC Chairman.

He was accompanied by Head of IEBC Secretariat, Hussein Marijan, Commission Vice Chairperson, Ms Juliana Cherera and Commissioners Abdi Yakub Guliye, Boya Molu, Mathenge Wanderi, Irene Massit and Justus Nyang’aya.

Also present were Rift Valley Regional Commissioner, George Natembeya, Governor Lee Kinyanjui, Women Representative, Liza Chelule and Members of Parliament, David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East), Kathambi Chepkwony (Njoro), Jane Kihara (Naivasha) and Martha Wangari (Gilgil).

The exercise whose target is to bring on board 6,000 new voters will be conducted in all the 1,450 wards except in Kiago and Musumba Wards in Central Imenti and Kibwezi West constituencies, which are set to have by elections on October 14, 2021 and Mahuhu Ward in Taveta, where IEBC will conduct  a by election on December 16, 2021.

Chebukati indicated that a total of 27,241 registration centers had been gazetted while another 39 had been degazetted prior to commencement of the exercise, adding that those who had registered as voters from 2002 were ineligible, but should come forward to verify their details when register inspection kicks-off.

He stated that everyone willing to transfer their registration details to a new voting centre will only be able to do so at IEBC Constituency offices.

The Chairman pledged IEBC’s commitment to delivering free, fair and credible elections, which he said, will meet democratic aspirations of citizens.

According to the Head of IEBC Secretariat, between 2017 and this year, 4.5 million Identity Cards had been issued to Kenyans, who were yet to register as voters.

Mr Marijan said 7,720 Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits, will be used in the exercise out of which 2,900 will be deployed as back up devices.  He indicated that Kenya had 19.6 million registered voters by August 2017.

“We have assembled a team of 8,700 Voter Registration Clerks, 290 Registration Officers, 290 Assistant Registration Officers, 47 County Information Communication Technology Officers and 290 Assistant Information Communication Technology Officers to oversee the process.

By Jane Ngugi and David Opingo

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