Kenya: Auditor vows to clean up voter register on time

Thursday April 13 2017

A voter listing exercise in Kenya. KPMG is required to audit each of the 19.4 million registered voters and hand over its findings to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on April 29. PHOTO | FILE

The independent auditor of Kenya's voter register promises to deliver within the legal timelines for conducting the exercise.

KPMG is required to audit each of the 19.4 million registered voters and hand over its findings to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on April 29.

KPMG chief executive Josephat Mwaura said that the firm had engaged experts to check whether the voter register complied with the constitution and election laws, as well as the level of expertise of those recruited to register voters in all the 290 constituencies.

KPMG is also auditing the accuracy of voter details as provided in the register. The firm will check whether such details are at par with information held at the registrar of persons including death records and details contained in passports.

“In Kenya we have a history of mistrust and perceived mischief in the registration of voters. Our job is to restore public trust and build confidence in the voter register and the electoral process,” said Mr Mwaura.

While the IEBC had last year conceded that there are 128,000 cases of double registration, the opposition led by the Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga claims that the register contains two million dead voters.


Gerald Kasimu, a partner at KPMG who undertook a similar exercise in South Africa, said that the firm will work with the register as provided by IEBC to weed out deceased and under-age persons, and check the validity of the documents used by voters to register.

Upon completion of the audit, KPMG will hand the IEBC a report covering three key areas: Specific exceptions identified and recommended actions to address those exceptions; recommendations to enhance the accuracy of the register and a report on the legal, systems; and the process required to secure the integrity and security of the register based on the findings.
IEBC is then expected to make changes based on the recommendations within 14 days.

The register will then be forwarded to the National Assembly and the Senate.
After receiving the document from parliament, IEBC will further clean up the register and present it to the public for verification 90 days before the date of elections on August 8.

The electoral body has already announced that the verification exercise will run from May 10 to June 9.

In the 2013 election, the opposition had complained in a presidential petition that IEBC had five voter registers and that it was not clear which one was used for the exercise.

“We believe public scrutiny will be an assurance that we will have a credible voter register and an exercise that will also restore confidence in IEBC,” said Mr Mwaura.

IEBC had last year awarded KPMG the tender to audit the voter register, after the firm beat 11 bidders. However, the opposition went to court seeking to stop the audit, saying that they were not consulted over he process of securing the auditor. The opposition also said that KPMG had no experience in auditing the voter register.

However, the court recently threw out the case allowing KPMG to sign a contract on March 31.