Kenya's biometric election hits henna snag

08/08/17

Several women in Kenya had to wait a while to vote on Tuesday after a biometric kit failed to pick up their fingerprints because of the henna on their hands.

Salma, a voter, could not help but laugh when she noticed the kit could not record their biometrics.

"Imagine the long queues…and then you are asked to wait after the kits fail," she told The Star.

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho had asked women not to apply henna during the voting period.

The dye, prepared from the leaves of the Mignonette tree or Egyptian privet, is common among women in the Coast.

It is not clear whether it affects the taking of finger prints but it is not advisable.

The failure of  kits has been a point of concern among voters and leaders countrywide.

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi protested after the equipment failed during voting in Adu, Malindi.

In Tigania ward, voters grew impatient after the kits failed to pick up their finger prints.

The electoral body has moved quickly to assure voters in Kisumu that the kits are functional after slight hitches.

Technicians were called to inspect and repair them as voters, who arrived as early as 3am on Tuesday, waited to select politicians who will lead them for the next five years.

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