IIEC to register Kenya prisoners
Date: Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 07:12:17 CDT
Topic: RavenNuke(tm)

NAIROBI - The Interim Independent Electoral Commission-IIEC will use electronic voter registration in all the 70 plus prisons in the country with over 50,000 inmates to hasten the registration of prisoners for the August 4 constitutional referendum.

Addressing a press conference at the IIEC offices in Nairobi Friday, IIEC chairman Issack Hassan Friday said the commission will deploy trained officers who will work with the prison department officers to ensure that the exercise from July 2nd is smooth and properly done.

" EVR requires minimal verification compared to the Manual System (OMR).It however requires training of the Registration officers on the use of the special kit. We will therefore have to re-deploy some of the already trained clerks from the ongoing verification process in order to commence the registrations in prisons." He said.

Hassan said after the referendum, the commission would have the voters' cards issued to the prisoners destroyed to prevent any future use. 

" Each of the registers will form part of the constituency Register where the prison is located. Since the ruling expressly emphasised that this registration be limited to the upcoming referendum, these registers will be rendered invalid after the referendum and the voters cards issued will be retrieved after the voting."

On Thursday, the IIEC had said the directive by the Interim Independent Constitutional Dispute Resolution court to register prisoners countrywide within 21 days would pose logistical and operational challenges.

Meanwhile it was song and dance at the Naivasha GK prisons on Thursday as prisoners welcomed the move to allow them to vote in the forthcoming referendum.

Prison authorities led by the officer in charge of the penal institution Patrick Mwenda said the court decision gave the inmates a chance to participate in a national exercise.

However there was concern as some of the prisoners do no have Identity Cards which might lock them out of the exercise.

On Wednesday, the Interim Independent Constitutional Dispute Resolution Court (IICDRC), a special court established to hear cases arising from review process, decided that prisoners should be allowed to vote in the referendum.

The ruling was made after a case filed by Shimo La Tewa prisoners in Mombasa, through Kituo Cha Sheria, a human rights lobby, who argued that the constitution bars them from voting in a General Election but not in a referendum.

Under the current law, prisoners do not vote.

Source: KBC

This article comes from The kenya weeklypost.com

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