Kenyans have until Friday, 5.30pm to register as voters after High Court lifted orders prohibiting  IEBC  from ending exercise

Kenyans have until Friday, 5.30pm to register as voters after High Court lifted orders prohibiting IEBC from ending exercise

BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,4TH NOV,2021-The High Court has lifted orders prohibiting the IEBC from ending the enhanced voter registration exercise.

The lifting takes effects on Friday at 5pm.

This means voters have until end of day, tomorrow, to register.

Justice Erick Ogolla on Thursday said substantial ruling on the matter will be issued on November 25.

The IEBC had said it had exhausted the Sh1.27 billion allocated for enhanced voter registration and cannot extend the exercise as ordered by the High Court in Eldoret.

Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati through lawyer Moses Kipkogei on Thursday told the court that should more money be allocated, the IEBC was ready to carry out another round of enhanced voter registration.

Kipkogei told the court that the orders obtained by a voter Patrick Cherono were unjust and obtained through misinformation or concealing of information to the court.

Justice Eric Ogolla is hearing the case.

The commission is seeking to have the court lift orders prohibiting IEBC from ending the enhanced voter registration exercise.

The lawyer said the IEBC enhanced voter registration started on October 4 and ended on November 2 and that the commission had notified the public as per the law.

He said voters were notified that following the conclusion on November 2, the IEBC would resume continuous voter registration at its constituency offices.

He said the Constitution obligates the IEBC to carry out continuous registration at its offices.

“This fact or material was not brought before you made the orders in place,” said the lawyer.

He said Section 5 of the Elections Act sets out the exceptions that can necessitate closure of registration.

“The impression created by the petitioner is that IEBC was to close continuous voter registration but we submit that is erroneous and not true,” he said.

The commission argued enhanced voter registration is expensive and requires planning, budgeting and engagement of stakeholders.

Within the last one month, the cost was Sh1.27 billion used on voter registration and the money was appropriated by Parliament in this financial year.

“That budget went through necessary processes, including public participation,” the lawyer said.

He said any expense above that amount is an offence and amounts to misappropriation of public resources.

The lawyer said the IEBC used Sh40 million per day and in the extra days of listing, resources not allocated have been used illegally yet the commission had to obey court orders.

The lawyer said the petitioner had registered as a voter in Ainabkoi constituency and was not aggrieved in any way to move to court.

Further he said voter registration was not a mandatory requirement but a personal obligation and hence the petitioner cannot purport to represent other Kenyans who have the right to make their own choices on whether to register as voters or not.

But lawyer Kaira Nabasenge for Cherono said the application by the IEBC was defective and should be rejected.

He said the IEBC had not set out proper grounds to warrant lifting of the orders.

He said the orders in place were conservatory in nature to allow extension of the voter registration as the case is heard.

Nabasenge said the extension the voter registration had already elicited good response from the public because many people had turned out to register.

Attempts by Nabasenge to play in court videos to show the turnout in court were objected by IEBC.

“As you know there is a procedure for filing electronic material that has to be followed,”said Justice Ogolla.

He however allowed Nabasenge to apply for the video to be played in court procedurally.

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