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RE: CABINET DIRECTIVE ON BIOMETRIC VOTER REGISTRATION SYSTEM

The reasons given by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for abandoning the use of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) system are untenable and casual particularly considering the many lives of innocent Kenyan’s that were lost in the 2007/2008 post-elections’ violence as a result of massive electoral fraud that the new system now intends to address.

Kenyans as a whole are not ready to go into the next general elections with the very burden that took us to the 2007 general elections where there was a general lack of public confidence in the electoral system, dead voters were still enlisted for voting and multiple voting and impersonation were variously cited in several polling stations because of the manual voter registration system that was overtly inefficient, archaic and out of tune in terms of modern technology.

It is against this background that the Central Organisation of Trade Unions, COTU (K) fully supports the decision by cabinet directing the IEBC to immediately embark on re-bidding for the BVR system and COTU (K) wishes to remind the IEBC as well that the cost of going into elections whose credibility is at question is far much expensive compared to their claims of “logistical costs” of starting the process of acquiring the BVR system afresh.

It is now over four years since the violence erupted in the country as a result of a bungled election and to-date, the county is yet to heal; the financial implications and costs as a result continue to escalate and for the IEBC to casually put off a system that intends to regain public confidence in our electoral system is insensitive and could as well be likened to courting chaos come the next general elections.

Let the IEBC live-up to its promise of independently giving Kenyans a credible elections’ process devoid of blackmail and deal cuttings; think about the over 40 Million Kenyans against a few individuals out to enrich themselves through such deals.

Kenyans have confidence in the Commission’s Chairman Isaack Hassan as COTU (K) do and let him ride on this earned confidence to give Kenyans a fraud free electoral process foremost by engaging the BVR system.

Francis Atwoli, MBS
SECRETARY GENERAL