August 9

UDA challenges suit seeking to compel use of manual register

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022 04:43 | By
UDA presidential secretariat, led by chairman Josphat Nanok (centre), address the press in Nairobi, yesterday. PD/Njenga Kungu
UDA presidential secretariat, led by chairman Josphat Nanok (centre), address the press in Nairobi. PD/Njenga Kungu

Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party yesterday urged the High Court to dismiss a case filed by seven civil society groups seeking to compel IEBC to use manual voter registers in every polling station in the upcoming polls.

Through Secretary General Veronicah Maina, UDA supported the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) decision to scrap use of the manual voters’ register and asked Justice Mugure Thande to sustain the same.

In her replying affidavit to the suit, Maina said the petition should be thrown out because the impact of the judgment sought by the petitioners would be to overthrow the provisions of section 44 of the Elections Act. The said provision of the law makes it mandatory for IEBC to use technology for the purposes of voter identification during the election exercise.

“As such there is no room for the use of a manual register as a means of voter identification as doing so would make the provisions of Section 44 futile and academic. Section 44 of the Elections Act does not in itself substitute the mandatory use of technology to identify voters but merely tasks IEBC with the duty of ensuring that there is a complementary mechanism for identification of voters,” said Maina.

Lawyer Elias Mutuma for UDA said the prayers sought by the lobby groups in the petition reveal their aim is substituting use of technology with a manual process as opposed to complimenting the former. Mutuma added the General Elections regulations do not allow the use of a manual voter register for identification purposes but only as an accounting document.

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