CORD BIDS TO STOP AUDITING OF VOTER REGISTER.

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Coalition for Reforms and Democracy lawyer Anthony Oluoch, Norman Magaya(center) with lawyer James Orengo leaving Milimani Law Courts after filing a case seeking to stop the IEBC from engaging in any activity meant to audit the voter register on Thursday December 22,2016.

BY THOMAS KARIUKI.

The high court has stopped a tender awarded to KPMG for the audit of the voter register Pending hearing and determination of a suit filed by CORD.

Coalition for Reforms and Democracy, Cord now wants the court to stop the IEBC from engaging in any activity meant to audit the voter register.

The opposition has asked that the electoral body be barred from carrying on with the award of the tender or in any way implementing results of the audit.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on December 16 awarded a tender to KPMG for the audit of the voter register, a move that has sent shiver in the opposition.

Cord says that the intended audit of the register of voters is clouded with opaqueness, secrecy and lack of accountability because no methodology or criteria for the audit has been disclosed to ensure the objectives set out in law are realized.

August 7 2017 elections are wholly dependent on the authenticity of the voter register and as such the process should inspire confidence in all divides, they hold.

In the Presidential Election, petition No.5 of 2013 (Raila Odinga and 5 others Versus the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission) the commission presented different versions of the register of voters variant from what was gazetted before the election.

“In this abundance of confusion, there is no clarity as to which register is being subjected to the audit,” they said.

Cord says they were not consulted or engaged in designing the criteria for the audit.

“The objective of ascertaining the accuracy of the Register of Voters can only be realized if the biometric data in the register is cross-authenticated with the data from the Registrar of Persons, as well as the Registrar of births and deaths to weed out dead, underage and cases of double registration,” they say.

Lawyer Anthony Oluoch for Cord says, “as it is now, no criteria has been set out by the Commission to ensure the audit firm is availed with the above information and therefore the proposed audit will amount to nothing but an exercise in futility.”

He continued to say that the firm awarded the tender to audit the register has no demonstrable experience of undertaking a similar task in any other jurisdiction in the world neither have any guarantees be given on its ability and capacity to undertake such an important exercise.

Cord therefore wants the court to issue an order prohibiting IEBC from carrying on with the award of the tender or in any way implementing result of the audit of the voters register based on its decision to advertise an open international tender for audit of voters Register and verify the accuracy of the register, recommend mechanisms of enhancing the accuracy and updating the register.

They hold that the decision is unreasonable and is actuated by malice and extraneous consideration other than the administration of justice.

Proceedings resume.

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