KIAI: Forget the hoopla this election was meant to be manual from day one [Nation (Kenya)]
(Nation (Kenya) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The IEBC's handling of the elections was shambolic. Every single safeguard that was meant to make the recent elections different, more accountable and more transparent than before was scrapped one after the other.
And no effort was made at all to explain to Kenyans what exactly happened and why, even though the IEBC has a constitutional obligation to do so.
It's still unclear which voter registration register IEBC used, as the February 24 list on the website has marked differences with what is on the presidential election results posted on their website.
The need to have a known, firm, and fixed voter register is so that citizens can be sure that only registered voters voted and that there was no padding of votes.
The Electronic Voter Identification kit that was to be an additional safeguard to record and tally the exact number of voters as each one voted and where collapsed and for a long time IEBC maintained that the voter turnout was about 70 per cent.
At the final tally, they told us it was close to 87 per cent!
Then the electronic transmission system was collapsed and it is here that the IEBC has bent over backwards to justify it.
First it was that the server crushed. Then that one side of the hard disk was full and unable to accept results. Then it was that presiding officers were slow in transmitting.
All these excuses are hogwash. The maximum capacity required for data from 33,000 polling stations is just 2GB, less than what a smart phone can take! And no IT expert could ever create a system with so little disk space, unless of course, it was never meant to work.
And this is the irresistible conclusion one gets after talking to IT experts: That this election was meant to be manual from start to finish, loopholes included. Thus, for instance, we have different results announced at the constituency, county and Bomas for Nyeri Town and others, and the task of verification is time consuming.
All these electronic gadgets and equipment were meant to pull the wool over our eyes. Talk of digital reversing into analogue!
The media played a big role in facilitating this mess by refusing to allow any views or reports showing the weaknesses of IEBC, believing that by keeping us ignorant we would be peaceful.
We have been peaceful and will probably remain so but that is not because of ignorance. Indeed, information vacuums are the easiest way to stoke conflicts and unrest as this fertile ground for rumours and innuendo that take a life of their own.
So now it's up to the Supreme Court to restore our faith in the dream of our Constitution. For me, the cases filed are not about winners and losers.
They are about following the Constitution and ensuring we can trust the new institutions we created and that processes and systems are clear and predictable.
It may be easier for the court to maintain the status quo especially now that Uhuru Kenyatta has all the trappings, pomp, and pageantry of power. That is clearly a well conceived effort to create an image.
But the Supreme Court has to go beyond convenience, beyond comfort zones and beyond stating there were a "few anomalies" here and there.
The law was broken on electronic transmission, the safeguards meant to assure accountability were tossed out, and IEBC has been spectacularly opaque and obstructive with efforts to access information and secure our right to vote.
This is not just a matter of election results; it's about our election process and systems and about the future of Kenya, for if IEBC gets away with it, then we are in bigger trouble than we think.
And as the cases start, it is necessary Kenyatta publicly commits to accepting the verdict of the court in the same way Raila Odinga has done.
And that he also calls for peace if and when the court reverses the illegality by the IEBC.
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