Capital FM (Nairobi)

9 July 2013

Kenya: CID Called in to Probe Kethi 'Registration'

Nairobi — The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has now written to the Criminal Investigations Department seeking assistance in investigations into the alleged theft of a slip used to 'register' Kethi Kilonzo as a voter.

Detectives at the CID headquarters told Capital FM News that the electoral body had contacted them seeking a probe into how Kethi obtained a voter registration slip from a booklet used to only register former President Mwai Kibaki.

"We have a request from the commission (IEBC) to take up the case," a senior CID officer said.

Capital FM News independently established that the letter asking the CID to probe the matter was dispatched late on Tuesday.

The commission also wants all those involved in the fraud prosecuted. "We will investigate the matter with a view of pressing criminal charges against anyone found culpable," another senior officer said.

During the IEBC tribunal ruling on Monday, the electoral body said Kethi was not registered anywhere in Kenya, leading to the revocation of her nomination certificate for the Makueni Senate race.

The commission's Director of Voter Registration Immaculate Kassait told the tribunal that an internal investigation had been launched over the matter.

Kassait tabled evidence at the tribunal to prove that Kethi's name was not anywhere in any of the commission's registers.

The verdict locking out Kethi from the Makueni race was declared at a packed courtroom on Monday, in a scene on reminiscent of the Supreme Court petition of former presidential candidate Raila Odinga in which the daughter of the late Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo played a key role.

The dispute resolution committee's chairman Thomas Letangule fell short of calling Kethi a liar when he wondered how she could claim to be a registered voter, yet she could not recall the exact station where she enlisted.

"It is worth noting that the respondent did not seem to know the physical location of the registration centre where she went to register as a voter," Letangule observed.

He went on to state that even if Kethi's story were to be believed, she could not have been registered in the first place as she did not possess valid identification documents given she claimed to use a copy of her ID and an out-of-date passport in the registration process.

"Even if it was indeed assumed that the second respondent presented herself for voter registration, it is clear that she would not have been validly registered as a voter since by her own admission she did not have her original identification card or passport as required to register as a voter," Letangule said in their ruling.

He went on to explain that the absence of her name from the Green book (the voters' roll) used in Lang'ata constituency - where she had claimed to have been registered - was an indictment in itself as per the ruling issued by the Supreme Court on March 30.

"Section two of the Election Act is clear that a voter is someone whose name is entered in the register of voters. The committee heard from (Immaculate) Kassait that the second respondent's details do not appear in the biometric register and the non biometric register... Kassait and (Teresia) Mwai testified that the green book is the original data source for voter registration. The Supreme Court in its above mentioned decision also found that the green book was part of the register of voters," Letangule said.

Letangule went on to discount claims that the Greenbook referred to had been tampered with explaining that no evidence had been adduced to support her allegation.

"We also note that the first respondent (Kethi) in cross-examination of the second respondent witnesses claimed that the ballot box containing the Greenbook register produced before the committee had been tampered with by National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS). However, the first respondent has not filed an affidavit or put its witness on the stand to provide the particulars of this allegation."

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