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Audit finds 250,000 dead voters in Kenya register

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By COLLINS OMULO


At least 1.18 million voters will be knocked off the register ahead of the August 9 elections in Kenya. 

This is after a preliminary audit report by KPMG revealed several anomalies in the 22.5 million raw database of registered voters.  

The number includes 246,465 dead voters, 481,711 voters who have been registered more than once as well as 226,143 voters who were registered with identity cards that do not validly belong to them.

A further 164, 269 voters were registered with invalid identification documents, that is either IDs or passports.

Speaking during a press conference at Bomas on Wednesday night, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Mr Wafula Chebukati said they would receive the final audit report on June 16 before engaging stakeholders on the final register of voters a day after.

Also read: IEBC begins to feel pressure from aspirants

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“As you may be aware, the Commission engaged KPMG on April 7, 2022 to conduct an audit of the Register of Voters, while the continuous voter registration activity was ongoing,” said Mr Chebukati.

“The Commission received a preliminary audit report with useful information, including 246,465 deceased voters, 481,711 duplicate records and 226,143 voters registered with IDs that don’t validly belong to them, 164,269 registered with voter records with invalid identification documents (IDs and Passports) that have to be addressed prior to certification and publishing of the register,” he added.

Consequently, the Commission will move back the publishing of the register of voters from the slated June 9 to June 20. This is to allow the electoral agency more time to address the findings emanating from the audit report before making the register public.

“Previously, the Commission had announced that it would certify and publish the register of voters on or before June 9, 2022. However, due to implementation of preliminary audit findings on the register, the Commission has decided to address the findings prior to certifying the register for publication on/or before June 20, 2022,” he said.

Last week, Deputy President William Ruto, who is a presidential candidate, raised concerns over missing details of about one million voters from his strongholds, claiming that they could have been deleted from the register.

Also read: Polls body on the spot as Kenyans prepare for ‘expensive’ election

He linked the development to an alleged plan to interfere with the polls in favour of his competitors in the August 9 elections.

But in a rejoinder, Mr Chebukati allayed any fears regarding the claims assuring Kenyans the register is safe and has not been tampered with. 

The electoral agency’s chief said they had 19.6 million voters in 2017, but that number has increased to 22.5 million voters. 

“We don’t have statistics on the missing voters on the register they are talking about. If they have such data then we please advise them to see us at any of our registration centre and we shall attend to them,” said Mr Chebukati. 

“However, I want to state clearly that the data on registered voters is intact. I want to assure Kenyans that the register is intact, safe and there has been no breach,” he added.

Recommendations

KPMG’s Head of Advisory Gerald Kasimu said they had made a range of recommendations which will have to be dealt with first before the final register can be gazetted.

He explained that some of the recommendations can be implemented immediately while others require more time to allow for investigations.

Mr Kasimu pointed out that some of the issues they are seized with include complaints about transfers where certain voters have raised concern about being transferred from areas they had registered to areas they did not wish to vote from.

“We have identified these issues of concern and we expect that by the time we issue our final report we can confirm to the commission that we are comfortable with the implementation of the recommendations that we have issued,” he said.

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