The Star
How court cases have plunged IEBC in last minute crises
3 days ago
Court judgements and orders are disrupting plans to hold the General Elections on Tuesday, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has decried.

Commissioner Justus Justus Nyang'aya however said the electoral agency will obey court directives even when they interrupt preparations ahead of the polls.

“As far as court judgements and orders are concerned, they are rather disruptive. We were training staff on specific lines that we had agreed on but we now we have to regroup and train them again,” he said.

Nyang'aya further said court orders have caused delays in the arrival of some ballot papers in the country.

“All papers were supposed to be in the country on Wednesday but some will be arriving much later,” he added.

He nonetheless pointed out that presidential ballot papers arrived in the country on Wednesday as planned.

“Court cases are making us a bit jittery. We now have to move with speed and make sure ballot papers get their respective destinations latest by Sunday,” he stated.

He said papers that will arrived late will have to be transported by airplanes and helicopters.

Nyang'aya noted that 10 areas across the country have had court cases.

“We were forced to remove some names or add others. It was mostly for ward seats,” he explained.

The remarks came hours after the court has quashed the decision by IEBC not to use the manual register of voters to identify voters in August 9th polls and only relying with Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) kits.

In a ruling Thursday, High Court Judge Mugure Thande said the court finds the decision to be unconstitutional and ordered the manual register to be used too.

“The decision by IEBC via a letter dated June 10,2022 stating that the first respondent shall not use the manual register voter in the general elections of Tuesday 9 2022 is unconstitutional and the said decision is hereby quashed,” court ruled

Judge Thande said reasons given by the commission that the printed version maybe manipulated is not enough since technology can also be manipulated.

Addressing a media briefing at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi, Nyang'aya said it was not the way the commission was hoping things would go.

He said the commission would issue a detailed statement following the decision by the court.

“In light of the ruling, we have a detailed statement that will be issued by our chair. As a commission, we have sat down and looked at the judgement,” he added.

IEBC has already distributed 90 per cent of non-strategic election materials have already arrived at the constituencies.

IEBC has contracted Postal Corporation of Kenya to distribute election materials throughout the country.

The corporation was contracted for a sum of Sh700 million, according to commissioner Francis Wanderi.

“This in is the initial figure. The amount is likely to go up depending on weather and security situation among other reasons,” he added.

Wanderi further noted that election materials will be airlifted in Wajir, Mandera, Lamu, Turkana and Marsabit counties.

“It may be difficult to deliver materials to these areas by road,” he explained after witnessing the distribution of ballot papers on Wednesday evening.