Kenya: Biometric registration Hitches Slows Down Registration in Kenya

Photo: The Star
Ballot box being emptied.

The ongoing Biometric registration (BVR) in Kenya is being characterized by hitches countrywide. The plan was for it to take just ten minutes to register one voter but this is not the case, with it often taking much, much longer.

It has also been reported that the BVR kits are malfunctioning just four days into the process, and to add to it there are also a number of security issues in different parts of the country.

Apparently, the passwords on the kits were supposed to be renewed 40 days after the date they left the factory but this did not happen due to delays in their shipment. According to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), it sent its technicians to renew the passwords on the kits at various centres even as the registration process continues.

"The problem is with all of the kits because they arrived late and they were manufactured on different days," said a regional elections coordinator. He said the kits were not reconfigured at the Commission's holding point in Kasarani because of the hurry to deliver them to all parts of the country for registration to commence.

In addition to the password expiry, cloudy skies in some areas limited the sunlight available to power solar batteries in the kits and transportation logistics hampered registration in many parts of the country. No registration at all had taken place at Higla Post, Ibrahim Urie, Garille, Guletbeere, Hambalash and Handaki and they had not been informed what was happening.Similar reports were received from some polling stations in Kilgoris, Bomet, Mogotio, West Pokot and parts of Turkana all in the vast Rift Valley.

Registration of voters in 11 polling stations in Kitengela also failed to begin on Thursday because the Independent Electoral Boundary Commission (IEBC) mistakenly transferred two polling stations to a different ward.

The registration was halted after IEBC realized that it had wrongly moved Kitengela Primary School and Noonkopir Secondary polling stations from Oloosirkon/Sholinke ward to Kitengela/Ololoitikoshi ward.

Kajiado East IEBC coordinator, Mrs. Jennifer Mugambi said they must adhere to the law by correcting the mistake and publishing the same in the Kenya Gazette. Voters in Ikolomani constituencyalso had an anxious wait to register as technicians installed new passwords from Tuesday to Thursday this week.

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