BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,25TH OCT,2021-The Government has formed a multi-agency forum with a special technical team that will guide electoral stakeholders on the road map leading to the 2022 General Election.
The forum that will be chaired by Chief Justice Martha Koome will be meeting regularly to discuss on what is required for the country to hold a free, fair and credible election.
“One of the main postulates of a democratic society is the conduct of peaceful, free, and fair elections, which are perceived as legitimate by the public and stakeholders in the electoral processes. The legitimacy of the Election Dispute Resolution (EDR) process rests in part on the objectivity and impartiality of dispute resolution mechanisms. It is only when citizens and stakeholders view the EDR process as legitimate, transparent, and responsible that they will be willing to submit to the established EDR mechanisms. EDR is part and parcel of the electoral cycle,” Koome said when the forum was unveiled at the Kenya School of Government.
The CJ pointed out that the committee will come up with a report after 10 days indicating the preparedness of all stakeholders and the challenges that are likely to be faced before, during and after the elections.
“Given the complexity and sensitivity of electoral disputes and their implication for state stability and peaceful societal co-existence, all the successive stages running from the pre-election to the post-election stage, must be carried out in a manner that garners the trust and confidence of stakeholders and the public. It is in this context that the Judiciary established the Judiciary Committee on Elections (JCE) to serve as the focal point for the Judiciary’s preparation to handle its EDR mandate,” she said.
The forum comprises the Judiciary, Ministries of Interior and ICT, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Communications Authority (CA) and the National Cohesion and Integrated Commission (NCIC).
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi stated that the ministry is well prepared to facilitate security and work closely with the IEBC to ensure that the elections are conducted in a safe environment.
“We are ready on our part and soon we are deploying 5,500 police officers and 300 cadets to join us and help in ensuring that elections are conducted in a safe environment and that law and order is maintained,” said Matiangi.
IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said that slightly over 760,000 new voters have been registered in the ongoing voter registration that started three weeks ago.
He appealed to all eligible voters to turn out in large numbers and register before the November 2 deadline.
“The full report will be going out of all the counties, so we have only done 760,000 plus out of an expected 4.5 million. It is a very low turnout and I know Kenyans normally wait until last minute to come out, so your las minute is now because we are closing on November 2,” Chebukati said.
The commission is targeting to register over 4 million new voters in its one-month enhanced exercise
“My appeal to Kenyans is to please come out in large numbers and register because this is your only chance as the commission is coming near you,” Chebukati said.
The 2022 general election is set to be conducted on August 9.