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Stage set for Kenyans in Germany and EU to register as voters

Kenyans in Germany and several other EU countries will for the first time be able to vote in their home country’s presidential elections this year.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officers carrying out voter registration (Photo ©IEBC)

In December 2021 the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) sent a factfinding mission to Berlin to pave way for the voter registration of Kenyans in Germany and other EU countries.

Plans are now at an advanced stage to start the voters registration. The voter registration in Diaspora will be done from 21st January to 4th February 2022.

Ambassador Amolo appeals to Kenyans in Diaspora to register and vote

In a video message, Kenya’s Ambassador to Germany H.E. Thomas Amolo officially announced the launch of the voter registration at the Kenya Embassy in Berlin. The exercise will kick-off on Friday, 21st January 2022 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and then from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm and will be run daily until Friday 4th February 2022.

Kenyans in Germany: Ambassador Thomas Amolo
Kenya’s Ambassador to Germany H.E. Thomas Amolo

The address of the Kenya Embassy in Berlin is: Rheinbabenallee 49-14199 Berlin. This is the only location in Germany where voter registration and polling will be conducted.

Ambassador Amolo said he was happy that the IEBC had moved quickly to enable Kenyans in Diaspora vote in these elections.

He added that Kenyans in Germany were delighted that Germany was chosen as a voter registration and polling station. “I confirm that we are ready for both exercises,” Ambassador Amolo said.

He announced that two Embassy officials namely Mr Alexander Njuguna Karuma and Mr Isaak Mamo Jirma had been appointed as points of reference for the voter registration exercise. They can be reached by dialling; +49-170-5653817 or sending an email to registration@kenyaembassyberlin.de

The Ambassador promised that together with his team at the Embassy, they will continue to serve Kenyans in Germany “efficiently and with a smile especially as we anticipate a peaceful and prosperous, productive and busy year.”

He appealed to all Kenyans in the Diaspora to come out in large numbers to register and eventually to vote. “My fellow Kenyans, this is a historic occasion, it’s a historic opportunity, let’s make good use of it,” he said.

The requirements for registration as a Kenyan voter

All Kenyan citizens residing in Germany or other EU countries can apply to register as voters. They are required to provide proof of their Kenyan citizenship by producing a valid new generation Kenyan passport. The old generation passports and Kenyan ID cards will not be accepted for the purpose of voter registration in Berlin.

Please note that only Kenyans who are eighteen years of age and above can register as voters.

All must travel to Berlin to register as voters

In order to register as a voter, each person must travel to Berlin and manually fill in the application form and submit it to the IEBC voter registration officers. The applicant must show their original passport and allow their biometric and biographic data to be taken during registration.

During the voter registration in Berlin, all Kenyans who had previously registered as voters back home and would like to transfer their station to Berlin can do so. At the same time, a voter previously registered in Diaspora but wishing to transfer voting station to Kenya should visit a preferred constituency in Kenya. In both cases of transfer, the voter must produce the document they used at the time of registration for ease of identification.

Mr. Wafula W. Chebukati, Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) addressing a recent press conference (Photo ©IEBC)

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Once the voter registration exercise in Berlin is complete, the IEBC officers will return sometime in March to avail the register of voters to enable voters verify their details. This is a very important step because it is the only way of confirming that the voter’s details and biometric data are accurate. On the polling day there will be no room to correct data, so if a problem emerges, the voter will not be allowed to cast their vote.

Inspection and verification of the voters’ personal data can be done online by visiting IEBC website. However, to verify biometric data, they will have to go to Berlin and do so personally before the IEBC officers.

Kenyan law doesn’t allow online voter registration and voting. This means that Kenyans in Germany and other EU countries who intend to take part in the next presidential elections must travel to Berlin three times; first to register as voters (21st January to 4th February 2022), second to verify their biometric and biographic data (in March, date to be announced later) and finally to vote (9th August 2022).

Kenyans in Diaspora can only take part in presidential elections

While Kenya will be holding generation elections on 9th August 2022, Kenyans in Diaspora will only be allowed to participate in the presidential elections as required by the Kenyan Constitution.

The legal status of Kenyans in Germany or any other EU countries applying to register as voters will not be taken into consideration. As long as they have valid Kenyan passports, they’ll be allowed to register as voters.

It is equally important to note that those who don’t register as voters will not be allowed to vote on 9th August 2022.

Kenya Diaspora Union of Organisations in Europe, a network of Kenyan organisations and associations in the EU has been formed to help with the dissemination of information. Kenyan organisations in Berlin will be available to assist people arriving from other cities and countries.

By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a

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