In his ruling, Justice Robert Wananda asserted that the court could not interfere with the parliamentary budget-making process, as demanded by the Uasin Gishu voter
Patrick Cherono and lawyer Kaira Nabasenge at the Eldoret High Court ,Friday.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission received a significant relief when the High Court in Eldoret rejected the pleas of Patrick Cherono, an Eldoret voter, on Friday. Cherono sought to compel the national polls agency to resume the enhanced voter registration exercise nationwide.
Additionally, the court dismissed another request by Cherono, in which he urged the court to mandate the National Assembly to allocate sufficient resources to the electoral agency, enabling it to achieve its goal of registering six million new voters.
In his ruling, Justice Robert Wananda asserted that the court could not interfere with the parliamentary budget-making process, as demanded by the Uasin Gishu voter. He stated, “I decline to grant orders compelling the National Assembly to prepare a budget to fund the activities of the national polls agency in regards to continuous voter registration exercise.”
Justice Wananda clarified that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission routinely conducts continuous voter registration across its registration centers, refuting the petitioner’s claim that the exercise was non-existent.
Cherono, a resident of Uasin Gishu County, initiated legal proceedings through his lawyer Kaira Nabasenge, suing both the IEBC and Parliament, the entity responsible for allocating funds to the commission.
Cherono’s petition aimed to force the IEBC to persist with mass voter registration rather than conducting the exercise closer to the general election. He argued that young individuals reaching the age of majority should be afforded the opportunity to exercise their right to enlist as voters.
One of Cherono’s key points was the inadequate funding provided by the National Assembly Budget and Appropriation Committee, which he claimed led to the premature closure of the registration exercise by the Commission.
According to Cherono’s petition, the Commission is mandated to continuously undertake voter registration, contrary to the current periodic approach. The IEBC, represented by lawyer Mwangi Kang’o, contended that it required a daily budgetary allocation of sh 42.7 million for any additional voter registration exercise across the country.
The court was informed that challenges such as the lack of ID cards, voter apathy, and a perceived lack of motivation, particularly among the youth, were contributing factors to the low voter registration turnout
Eldoret Media Hub, a working space for journalists based in Uasin Gishu County set up by the Uasin Gishu Journalists Association (UGJA) through a Media Council of Kenya (MCK) grant.
The facility was officially opened in August 2021 by the MCK Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo.