Voter Registration Deadline Extended By Two Days

A Nairobi High Court on Tuesday directed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to extend the voter registration deadline by two days.

The directive was given by High Court Judge Enoch Mwita Chacha following a petition by activist Okiya Omtatah.

The activist moved to court under a certificate of urgency arguing that the law only requires the exercise to be stopped two months to a general election. He cited section 5(1)(a) of the elections ACT 2011.

Read Also: Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union Officials Jailed For One Month

MPs had also previously argued that the constitution allows for voter registration to continue at Huduma Centres and IEBC constituency offices.

Justice Mwita then directed the activist to immediately serve the commission with suit papers.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati had previously insisted that there would be no extension to the voter registration. He said the electoral body planned other activities during the time frame which need to take place.

”If we continue to register after February 14, there will be limited time to do the clean-up which is slated for February 14 to May 10,” said the chairman.

Along with the voter registration deadline extension, activist Omtatah also requested the court to compel the IEBC to register voters using birth certificates and expired passports.

He asked the court to declare a single database of citizens which should be used to transact all affairs affecting citizens. He also said that the separate registrations for exams ID, KRA PIN, and Passports were unreasonable and a waste of public funds.

”By wasting resources running multiple databases of citizens, the respondents are in violation of Article 201 (D) that public money shall be used in a prudent and responsible way,” Omtatah argued.

He said that without full disclosure it was impossible to tell whether the IEBC’s estimated targets for registering voters in various parts of the country was independent.

He argued that there was a possibility of mischief from the executive to suppress voters in some areas because it was not verifiable if the official data of the adult population from the Directorate of Immigration and Registration of Persons based on the 2009 census was used.

Read Also: Kenya Declares The Ongoing Drought A National Disaster

Omtatah argued that the IEBC needed to distant itself from the executive government by letting the public know how widespread the discriminative issuance of IDs is and how it disenfranchises unsuspecting citizens.

The matter is set to be mentioned on the 16th of this month.