The Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) team led by the Chairman Mr Wafula Chebukati has said they have put all measures in place to ensure that the forthcoming election will be free, fair, credible and conducted in accordance with the dictates of the Constitution of Kenya.
The electoral body said that during an engagement meeting with members of the Mkenya Daima Initiative that include the business community, civil society, religious sector, media, organized sector groups and academia held at the Hilton Hotel. The polls body which is currently under the spotlight committed to work together with other stakeholders in ensuring the decision of every Kenyan voter is respected and heard.
Speaking during the meeting, Dr Vimal Shah – Mkenya Daima Steering Committee Chair said that Kenya should become an icon of democracy and peaceful elections while adding that there was a need to focus on the positive gains and growth opportunities for the country. “Elections are a standard ingredient of democracy. We must work together to ensure a peaceful, free, fair and credible election for continued development,” He said.
On her part, Ms Flora Mutahi – Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) Chair noted that the Commission holds a very crucial role and therefore should ensure that it delivers its mandate accordingly while reiterating the private sector’s commitment to work with IEBC and other bodies in the electoral process to ensure a seamless transition. “High level of anxiety has long characterized our elections. Giving confidence to the business community is very important. We operate on an ecosystem that is very sensitive to the business environment,” She remarked.
The Commission maintained that it was on course to deliver its mandate despite the heated political activities. “The Commission has prepared for this election more than ever before. We are going to deliver to Kenyans a free, fair, verifiable and credible election,” said Mr Chebukati who also maintained that the IEBC will not be intimidated but move on to execute its mandate in accordance with the Constitution. “I want to confirm that IEBC is an independent institution. We are not directed by any individual, institution or authority. We are answerable only to the Constitution,” He said.
Mr Chebukati also revealed that IEBC has finalized the procurement processes and that the printing of ballot papers was ongoing. “Today we’ll be receiving the first batch of ballot papers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport,” He added.
The Commission indicated that it was working closely with the National Police Service through the Election Security Arrangement Programme (ESAP) to ensure security is guaranteed. While responding to issues raised by participants in the meeting, the Commission’s CEO Mr Marjan H. Marjan noted that IEBC has developed training manuals both for police officers and the IEBC staff.
On technology, the Commission highlighted that it has over 1,500 satellite modems at the warehouse for transmission of election results. The IEBC team also urged the private sector members to partner with the Commission in their respective capacities to ensure that they achieve their mandate of delivering peaceful and credible elections.