Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Tuesday, 14 Feb 2017 08:37 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
The government has invited opposition politicians to inspect the data on the National Youth Service biometric registration kits whose operators were arrested yesterday in Runda, Nairobi, in order to allay fears that these could be used to rig the upcoming elections. Ms Sicily Kariuki, the cabinet secretary for Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, said in a statement that the data collected by NYS was different from the one used by the IEBC.
"Interested parties have been invited to verify the nature of data captured by the NYS biometric equipment tomorrow (today) at the Gigiri Police Station,” the minister said. “The system used for biometric registration of NYS cohorts is completely different from the one used by IEBC. This includes the biometric scanner itself. Whereas the IEBC use a four finger scanner, the NYS is using a single digit scanner”.
Ms Kariuki also gave a background to the NYS use of BVR kits. “The biometric registration was adopted by NYS in registering YEP beneficiaries to streamline (a) identification, (b) payment & (c) management of cohorts. Westlands is among key YEP areas targeted to launch soon. Thus the registration exercise. The biometric registration has been in use for YEP at NYS since the phase two of the programme in early 2016.”
At the same time, NYS also denied the opposition’s claims that it was conducting a parallel voter registration, and its director Sam Michuki has explained that the group’s registration was for new youths to work under the service's various cohorts.
The director said the registration was being done for purposes of cleaning the NYS payroll to rid it of ghost workers and has nothing to do with the ongoing mass voter registration. “They are not IEBC BVR kits. We have been using biometric kits to register youths taking part in NYS empowerment programmes,” said the director.
Opposition activists, however, raised more questions about Mr Michuki’s explanation as a video also went viral showing the team leader of the group arrested while registering the youths yesterday telling the police that the NYS director had instructed him to liaise with a Jubilee official to register the youths. The officer said the director had given him the telephone contact of the Jubilee MCA representing Runda, who would identify for him the youths to register.
In addition, the NYS local provincial administration officials out of the picture regarding their business in Runda. NYS normally works in cooperation with the provincial administration, but the registration in Runda was being done without other government officials being aware. The sub-county commissioner for Westlands was notably not informed about it.
Neither is Runda listed as a registration centre for the NYS exercise that was undertaken throughout the country. The published record of the NYS captures the registration centre for each of the 17 sub-counties in Nairobi. The centres for each of the constituencies are as follow: Langata at Kibera, Mathare (NYS camp Mathare), Embakasi North (NYS Korogocho), and Embakasi South (NYS Mukuru Kwa Njenga).
Others are Kamukunji (Gikomba), Makadara (Mukuru Kayaba), Starehe (Fuata Nyayo), Dagoretti South (Riruta PC KInyanjui Institute, Mutuini chief’s office, Ngando chief’s office, Waithaka chief’s office, Uthiru/Ruthimitu-Muthuani chief’s office), Kasarani (Kasani Grounds, Clay City Sec Sch, Ruai, Njiru, Mwiki).
Yesterday, the officer who was leading the team informed police officers that he had been asked to register youths at City Park and Huruma, which also fall outside the NYS registration centres.