The High Court has ordered the Mass Voter Registration (MVR) exercise to continue until Sunday (19/02/2017).
Justice Enoch Chacha Mwita directed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to give Kenyans who have not registered one last chance to do so.
“Although this court is not supposed to interfere with administrative matters and taking into account financial logistical preparations… the IEBC is hereby directed to continue with mass voter registration process upto February 19 at 6.00p.m,” Justice Mwita said on Thursday (16/02/17).
The judge also noted that the mass registration will end on Sunday but a continued process of registering would continue up to May 17, 60 days to the voting date.
The IEBC had set the deadline for voter registration as February 14 but Judge Mwita had extended that exercise to today after activist Okiya Omtatah challenged the process.
Mr Omtatah moved to the court under a certificate of urgency arguing that the deadline slated for 14th was contrary to section 5(1)(a) of the elections ACT 2011 therefore null and void.
“Denying Kenyans three months within which they can register to vote will exclude a large population yet the ballot is the most potent weapon of governance where citizens were have the mandate to elect the country’s political leaders,” Omtatah said.
He urged the court to direct IEBC to register voters using birth certificates and expired passports since so many eligible voters had been unable to register for lack of identity cards.
Omtatah also wanted the court to declare a single database of citizens be used to transact all affairs affecting citizens and that the separate registrations for exams ID, KRA PIN, and Passports are unreasonable and wastage of public funds.
According to the activist, without full disclosure, it is impossible to tell whether the IEBC estimated targets for registering voters in various parts of the country is independent of executive mischief to suppress voters in some areas and whether or not it used the official data of the adult population from the Directorate of Immigration and Registration of Persons based on the 2009 census.