Greetings from the Kenyan Diaspora Pro-Democracy Movement-KDPM.
First, let me congratulate you and the IEBC for the work that you have done so far in carrying out the mandate entrusted to you by Kenyans. We especially are grateful for the effort that the IEBC has made to reach out to a few Kenyans in different parts of the world to collect their views on various issues that touch on their democratic right to participate in the electoral process.
However, we note that there is a real possibility that suggestions and recommendations from the Kenyans in the diaspora that would enhance the registration and voting process of diasporians are being put in danger of being timed out because of the Commission’s inability or unwillingness to listen and carry out our suggestions and recommendations.
We are deeply concerned by reliable reports that we have indicating that a decision has been taken by the IEBC not to implement the use of electronic (online) voting as requested by Kenyans in the diaspora.Our question to you is, are you trying to divide Kenyans? Are you trying to serve the interests of a particular group that does not want Kenyans in the diaspora to participate in the electoral process?
What was the reason behind the recent advert in the media by IEBC calling for tenders for electronic registers? Is the IEBC trying to hoodwink Kenyans and the world that they are embracing e-voting/e-registration? Why is the IEBC mute on online and mobile voting? If Kenyans can trust money with MPESA, TANGAZA, etc - why not their votes? How have countries like Estonia and Holland been able to embrace and practice e-voting? Why cant Kenya do the same? Is the IEBC incompetent? The concerns of security, credibility of votes cast (dangers of hacking) and benchmarking do not hold any water!
The issue of the registration of diaspora voters and the actual voting being done at the Embassies and High Commissions abroad is also another attempt to disenfranchise Kenyans. Asking Kenyans in USA to travel to Washington DC, New York and Los Angeles to register and vote is almost the equivalent of asking Kenyans residing in Morocco, South Africa and Nigeria to travel all the way to Nairobi or Tunis or Maputo to register and vote. How many Kenyans can afford it? It is neither realistic nor practical.
Considering the input of the Kenyans in the diaspora is the least we can demand from the IEBC. Your cooperation will ensure that the registration of Kenyans in the diaspora is cost effective and it will advance our democracy by helping to produce results that are agreeable and acceptable as fair by all. Hon.Mr. Ahmed Isaak, PLEASE DO NOT LET KENYANS AND AFRICA DOWN.
Gerald Baraza, President
Kenyan Diaspora Pro-Democracy Movement
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