Voting Closed:

AUGUST ELECTION

Heads must roll if transmission fails

In Summary

• IEBC has not awarded the lowest bidder the contract for satellite transmission of results from remote areas

• In 2017 the presidential election result was anulled largely because some polling stations failed to send their results on the telcom network

Electoral agency CEO Marjan Hussein Marjan consults with chairman Wafula Chebukati at Bomas of Kenya on June 20, 2022.
IEBC: Electoral agency CEO Marjan Hussein Marjan consults with chairman Wafula Chebukati at Bomas of Kenya on June 20, 2022.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Alarm bells are ringing at the IEBC after the lowest bidder was not chosen to provide the satellite uplink for the August 9 election results.

The first round of the 2017 election was cancelled primarily because the results were not transmitted properly from polling stations in areas without 3G. This was supposed to be solved in 2022 using satellite uplinks from areas without network coverage.

The tender was awarded in May to Osta Tech for Sh202 million compared to Sh182 million from Acacia Satlink, the official Thuraya representative.

The IEBC now faces two risks. Firstly, the validity of the presidential election may again be challenged if procurement rules were not properly followed.

Secondly, the lowest bidder was the Kenyan company representing Thuraya, the largest satellite phone company in the world. Thuraya were going to send 12 staff to make certain their system worked perfectly. Will the satellite transmission now deliver to the same standard? We will have to wait and see.

But if satellite transmission of results from remote polling stations is now messed up, then heads should roll. IEBC should have chosen the technically most responsive tender as well as the most cost-effective.

Quote of the day: "Everything in life is luck."

Donald Trump
He was the first US President to visit North Korea on June 30, 2019

“WATCH: The latest videos from the Star”