IMMIGRATION minister Otieno Kajwang' has defended the proposal to allow those with waiting cards for IDs to register as voters. Kajwang' dismissed claims that using the waiting cards to register as voter will lead to election fraud.
"Those misleading Kenyans that the waiting cards will lead to election fraud must stop it with immediate effect. Waiting cards are official documents issued to those who apply for IDs and to say they are prone to forgery is to say even the IDs themselves can be forged," said the minister.
He was was speaking when he attended a church service at Kima Church of God in Vihiga. Youth Agenda CEO Susan Kariuki is leading a group of experts opposed to the proposal.
Kariuki said the waiting slips can be forged easily allowing millions of underage or foreigners to be added to the election register. Election Observation Group chairman Kennedy Masime is also opposed to the move.
Kajwang' however maintained that waiting cards are evidence of registration just like IDs. "The group is simply uninformed to argue that the slips may be forged and they must stop misleading Kenyans with immediate effect," Kajwang' added.
The bill seeking to allow the waiting slips used for voter registration was moved in Parliament by Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo. Midiwo argues that anyone with a provisional ID card should be registered for the March 4 elections because they have proof they have registered for IDs.
During a debate on the Elections Bill (NO 72 of 2012), majority of the MPs supported the bill but failed to discuss how to avoid fraudulent registration of underage voters with forged slips or the use of original slips.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga has backed the proposal to register those with waiting cards as voters. During his Weekend rallies in Vihiga County he called on those holding the slips to turn up and register as voters.
President Kibaki is expected to accent to the bill to allow such persons register for the documents and participate in the March 4 general elections.