Voters advised to stay 400m from polling stations

Kenyans have been reminded to stay 400 metre radius away from a polling station after casting their votes on Tuesday.

This is after the High Court supported the directive by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

In his ruling over the weekend, Justice Richard Mwongo said that the directive by IEBC has a legal basis.

However, the Judge said that the IEBC cannot evict or remove persons who live close to a polling station.

He said that the IEBC should instead afford members of the public access to the counted and signed results either at the entrance of the polling station or any other place that is convenient and accessible to the public.

On Thursday last week, activist Okiyah Omtatah moved to court to oppose the directive arguing that it is illegal to expel citizens from polling centres during voting.

Meanwhile, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati has asked Kenyans to report any mischief perpetrated by his officials at polling stations and tallying centres in the counties and the National Tallying Centre.

Chebukati said should there be a problem or should somebody suspect anything at any polling station, Kenyans should report such incidences through hotline numbers 1527, 1537, 1538, and 1539 and the commission will act immediately on any case brought to its attention.

In the face of mounting pressure on claims of rigging and a push for assurance that the electronic elections system for voter identification and results transmission would work, Chebukati said IEBC was prepared to oversee a credible poll.

He warned presiding and returning officers not to sell their souls for temporary gain. The electoral chief also said the commission would transmit the results electronically and announce them immediately.

He said satellite phones have been made available in the 290 constituency tallying centres for quick transmission of presidential results.

Read also: Observe rule of law, rights body tells security agencies

Elsewhere, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has expressed satisfaction with IEBC preparedness for elections on Tuesday.

IGAD election observation mission says it has been briefed on security measures and that the commission assured the team that everything will be in place today.

The mission will deploy 18 election observers in Nairobi County alone. The head of the IGAD observer group Tewolde Gebremeskel says they are hopeful the polls will be credible and peaceful.

In addition, Isiolo County Commissioner George Natembeya has ordered the closure of all Bars in the county by 9pm Monday evening so that voters can exercise their rights to vote while sober.

The directive follows complains by some politicians that youths are likely to be bought alcohol so that they do not turn out to vote in areas perceived to be jubilee strong holds.

Speaking in his office, Natembeya confirmed that he had received the complaints and assured the candidates that apart from ordering the closure of bars by 9PM, his office will also redeploy police officers in all parts of the County to ensure that law and order prevails during and after the crucial voting exercise.

Mohamed Liban who is vying for the senator’s position has claimed that that his opponents plan to avail alcohol to youths on the eve of the Elections so that they do not turn up to vote.

Also read: Chebukati says appropriate measures in place to enhance transmission

By KBC Reporters

  

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