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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Scenarios other than rigging on August 8

Majority leader Aden Duale. /FILE
Majority leader Aden Duale. /FILE

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission must live up to the letter and spirit of the Constitution. They must deliver to the people of Kenya ballot papers and election materials and that the election must take place on August 8, 2017.

In my opinion, the current IEBC look more prepared than their 2013 predecessors.

The Commission has done the registration of voters successfully and completed the critical verification of the voters’ register. The most significant element that captures their better level of preparedness is the delivery of the technology kits that will be used for the election. The Commission has delivered 30,000-plus kits into the country in readiness for Election Day.

Having the gadgets in the country at least a month to the election is a critical score for the Wafula Chebukati-led IEBC. The issue of supply and delivery of election kits was a thorn in the flesh of the former IEBC and remained a major impediment in achieving the required level of preparedness for the 2013 General Election, when the kits were delivered just two days to D-Day.

It looks like the current IEBC has trained their election staff and even trained all the security agencies and have already completed the printing of all the other ballots, except the presidential - this is a move in the right direction.

But, that said, the IEBC has critical questions on which they owe Kenyans answers. They must state categorically if they are prepared in the event that the electronic gadgets fail as they did at the 2013 election. The Commission must come out clear on what mechanisms are in place to guarantee seamless transmission of election results should the Results Transmission System fail.

What will the Commission do in case a polling station receives the wrong materials?

Are they prepared in case the political class unleash violence and disrupt voting on Election Day?

They must tell Kenyans how prepared they are –together with the security agencies – in the event that Al Shabaab strikes to disrupt the election in the volatile Northeastern and Coast regions.

Is the IEBC prepared if the opposition announce and declared their results based on the tallying centre they are putting up?

We are hearing the Commission is disunited, that one or two commissioners have said that if he/she disagrees with colleagues the next morning she/he will take a flight to America. Are they prepared for such scenarios?

Garissa Township MP


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