August 19, 2022

IEBC Protests Barring of Teachers From Manning Elections

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The move by Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to bar teachers from presiding over elections in Makueni County, will impact negatively on the overall management of the exercise in the area.

Consequently, the County Elections Manager, Maurice Raria, faulted the move by TSC to eject teachers from the ongoing training of Support Election Trainers (SETs) at the Makueni Boys High school hall, where the session was being held Tuesday morning.

He said the training of SETs, Logistical Officers and ICT clerks started on 25th and continues up to 28th July 2022, after which they will in turn train both Presiding Officers (POs) and Deputy Presiding Officers (DPOs) between 31st July and 3rd August this year.  

Raria revealed that 9,000 officers have already been recruited to help IEBC to conduct elections in Makueni, saying teachers comprised half of the POs and DPOs recruited to assist in conducting elections.

 Consequently, the Electoral Manager said the TSC timing was wrong, as this will put at risk efforts to conduct credible elections in the county, as there was virtually no time left to recruit other people to fill the vacant positions that will arise, if the hired teachers are withdrawn at this critical moment.

“If we don’t have teachers serving as POs, then we will miss half of this crucial human resource, thus jeopardizing the entire exercise,” said Raria, while speaking during National Government County Service Delivery Coordination Committee (NGCSDCC) meeting, chaired by the County Commissioner (CC), Gilbert Kitiyo, in his Wote Boardroom, Tuesday.

He also informed the meeting that the TSC had earlier assured IEBC of their unequivocal support after the former duly allowed teachers to be recruited, to offer their services during the August 9 polls.

 “As IEBC, we had initially hesitated to engage teachers, but when we were later on assured by the TSC that it would be okay, we went ahead and recruited them,” he said.

However, responding to the claims, the County Commissioner urged the area Returning Officer to write a letter to the TSC Headquarters, through their Makueni office to be escalated to Nairobi in order to resolve the issue amicably.  

While saying the training of counting and polling clerks will be conducted on 5th and 6th August, Raria requested for vehicles from the local departmental heads, especially those with lorries to enable the electoral body transport election materials to the six constituencies warehouses across the County.

 “We have received ballot boxes, polling boots and gas lamps which need to be taken to be relocated to constituencies. If we wait up to the last minute, there will be a problem,” he added.

On security, he said that he has already engaged with the security agencies who will be vital in manning all the 1,130 polling stations.

Also security will be required in all the 7 tallying centres, hence the deployment of 2,602 police officers, who will offer security during the electioneering period.

Meanwhile, the County has 479,401 registered voters spread across six constituencies, including Makueni (102,712), Mbooni (96,029), Kibwezi West (91,554), Kaiti (65,188), Kibwezi East (64,740) and Kilome (59,188) respectively.

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