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IEBC probing voter importation claims, as city politicians differ on the matter

08 March 2016, 11:49 Arap Yego

Nairobi - The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is engaging relevant stakeholders to address the issue of voter importation.

The Commission Corporate and Communication Manager Tabitha Mutemi said they are concerned that mass transfer of voters in the on-going voter's registration exercise is bound to heighten tension and cause chaos.

Speaking to News24 Monday she explained that although the law allows eligible Kenyans to register anywhere in the country mass transfer of eligible voters for the purposes of swaying votes is not acceptable.

"It is a recipe of raising tensions and chaos. IEBC is investigating the matter and is also in talks with relevant agencies over the issue, with a view of making appropriate decisions," said Mutemi.

Her remarks come a week, after a bloody clash occurred in Kariobangi Estate between youths allied to both Jubilee and Cord, with each of the groups accusing each other of claims of voter importation.

Also read: GALLERY: Blogger in court for insulting Governor on Facebook.

The matter has elicited sharp reactions from Cord leaders who point a finger at heir counterparts from Jubilee, for trying to tilt the political landscape in Nairobi and other parts of the country, by importing voters.

A Nairobi Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) politician Reuben Ndolo has been vocal on the matter, urging IEBC officials to be vigilant to guard against the irregular enlsisting of voters.

The former Makadar MP alleged that some politicians, who are eyeing various seats in Nairobi, are transporting voters from nearby counties and register them in city to increase their chances of being elected.
"We know some leaders, especially those aligned to Jubilee, will try to bring in new voters to enlist in the city from other counties. We want IEBC and concerned authorities to stop such plans," said Ndolo.

But commenting on the same matter, TNA Chairman and nominated MP Johnson Sakaja accused the opposition colleagues of crying foul 'as usual' and said there is no crime for people staying in Nairobi to register as voters in the city.

He said caution should be exercised in the matter,noting that they have carried vigorous voter registration campaigns targeting people who stay in Nairobi and are registered in their rural homes to transfer to the city.  He explained that these group of people are bound to be erroneously referred to as imported voters, when they are actually not.

"There are many people working and staying in Nairobi who are registered as voters upcountry. We are encouraging these people to register in the city where they earn their daily bread from, and this not against any Kenyan law," said Sakaja, who has announced interest in the Nairobi Gubernatorial seat.

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