IEBC suffers major SETBACK as court STOPS voter register audit

IEBC suffers major SETBACK as court STOPS voter register audit

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) suffered a major setback after the High Court sitting in Nairobi temporarily stopped the voter register audit that begun on Friday, December 16.

IEBC had awarded the voter register tender to KPMG with the exercise expected to take one month.

The stoppage of the process followed a petition by the opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) that termed the audit illegal.

CORD argued that IEBC acted way beyond its powers or jurisdiction and is ultra vires or in excess of powers contemplated under the Election Laws (Amendment) Act.

In a certificate of urgency, CORD claimed that in awarding the tender for the audit of the register of voters, IEBC proceeded without consultation or engagement with the stakeholders including political parties in designing the criteria and the methodology for the audit.

Through lawyer Anthony Oluoch, the court heard that IEBC acted maliciously.

“The intended audit of the register of voters is clouded with opaqueness, secrecy and lack accountability since no criteria for the audit has been disclosed to ensure the objectives set out in law are realized,” read the petition in part.

The matter will be heard on January 17, 2017.

KPMG was picked among the 12 companies that had bid for the tender to scrutinize the 15.85 million listed voters.

The audit is meant to authenticate genuine voters in the register by weeding out ghost voters.

The audit process was sanctioned by Parliament following recommendations of a 14-member Joint Parliamentary Select Committee which reached a consensus allowing an audit of the voter register instead of fresh registration of voters as had been proposed by the opposition side of the committee.

CORD had also threatened mass action if the audit process was not stopped immediately.

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