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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,JAN 3RD,2017-Attorney-General Githu Muigai has supported the use of a manual backup voting system for the 2017 elections, saying an electronic one could fail.
The AG who appeared before the Senate Legal Affairs Committee on its final day of taking views from the public on the amendments to the electoral laws Tuesday said that contrary to what critics have said, Kenya has a manual system supported by electronic components.
Attorney-General Githu Muigai, who was before the Senate Legal Affairs Committee on January 3, 2017. FILE PHOTO
But his comments were faulted by Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar, who said Mr Muigai’s claim that Kenya’s system is manual is false.
“We don’t want dead voters to vote. We want to cure mischief through [the] electronic system,” Mr Omar said. who said that there was need for a buck up system but must also be electronic not manual.
He said the election laws came from a negotiated process and one political wing cannot single-handedly amend them.
Mr Omar said the move has created suspicion and the tension.
Deputy Speaker Kembi Gitura and Nandi Senator Stephen Sang’ backed the Attorney-General, saying a manual backup system for identifying voters and transmitting results is important.
Governors objected to a manual backup and rooted for a technology-based one.
Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto said they will support a technology-based backup and warned that the amended election laws could create conflict in the country.Ruto’s opinion was also held by the vice chairman of the kenya national commission on human rights KNCHR George Morara.
KNCHR vice Chair George Morara/FILE PHOTO
Governor said the country should not go back to manual system for voter identification and transmission of results, where progress had already been made in using technology.
The Senate Legal Affairs Committee, chaired by Busia Senator Amos Wako, is collecting views on the controversial changes made to the Election Law (Amendment) Bill before presenting a report to the House.
The committee is also expected to get views from the Coalition for Credible Polls 2017, Media Owners Association, Civil Society Reference Group ,representatives from CORD and Jubilee as well as Computer Society of Kenya.