In Summary
  • A statement by the Elections Observer Group on Wednesday raised questions about the decision by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to remove the names of 88,000 dead people from the electoral register following an audit by KPMG.
  • Investigations by the Nation show the electoral agency took partial information on the dead.

Thousands of dead voters are likely to remain on the roll because the relevant authorities did a hurried job of weeding them out.

It is also doubtful that the record of deaths is sufficiently updated.

A statement by the Elections Observer Group on Wednesday raised questions about the decision by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to remove 88,000 dead people from the electoral register following an audit by KPMG.

Investigations by the Nation revealed that IEBC took partial information on dead voters from the Civil Registration Services (CRS) during the audit. CRS is the government body that registers all deaths in the country.

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Of the 797,835 deaths formally reported from December 2012 to March 2017, the electoral agency only picked 435,173. A source who did not want to be identified said IEBC had promised to go back for the data of the remaining 362,660 to submit it to the auditors but never did.

“They have never come back for the remaining data; it is lying here,” said the source. “I am telling you that, even the name of the late Jacob Juma is still in the voters register but his name cannot be deleted because the family did not surrender his ID.”

This raises the likelihood of a large number of dead voters being still on the register.

Although the mere presence of dead voters on the roll is harmless, it nonetheless raises the fear of excess ballots being marked and stuffed in their name to rig the election.

Also, the CRS register is not comprehensive and there could be dead voters who were not reported.

IEBC has since said that 88,602 dead voters had been removed after the figure was reduced by 3,765. The commission explained that people who reported deaths may have been erroneously marked as dead as well.

In a statement on the IEBC website by chairman Wafula Chebukati, the commission insisted that it had put in place measures to ensure no dead voter, as Orange Democratic Movement presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s team has claimed, “wakes to vote and goes back to the grave”.

Mr Chebukati said about the dead voters in a press statement released on June 29: “We are aware that the register of voters cannot be completely rid of deceased persons. However, we are confident that the Kiems (Kenya Integrated Elections Management System that the electoral commission is using) technology provides foolproof authentication on election day and there will be no room for mischief”.

According to the KPMG audit, the names of 11,104 dead voters had been removed from the register since 2012 and, of these, only 30 had been removed since 2013. The company estimated the deaths from 2012 to 2016 at 2,390,054 with only 970,895 having been registered voters.

From November 2012 to last December, of the expected deaths 1,534,009 were aged 18 and above and, of these, only 621,832 were registered, said KPMG. Of these, only 196,988 records had complete details that could be used as a reference to the register of voters.

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