THE OKOA KENYA MOVEMENT has proposed constitutional amendments that, amongst others, seek election reforms aimed at strengthening Kenya’s electoral system to ensure free, fair, transparent, efficient, accurate and accountable elections.
The INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL AND BOUNDARIES COMMISSION (IEBC) prepared a confidential report dated July 2014 on the March 2013 general elections. This devastating report goes on to reveal how IEBC knowingly misled the country and the world, by allowing Kenyan voters to proceed to elections despite glaring omissions and ill-preparedness.
Though the commission claims to have registered 14.4 million people out of 21.8 million eligible voters for the 2013 elections, IEBC concedes that the accuracy of the voter register was compromised. Additionally:
- The IEBC unilaterally shortened the voter registration period from 90-days to 30-days, thereby disenfranchising approximately 8 million of eligible Kenyans and blocking them from exercising a fundamental right to vote.
- Further, the IEBC allowed Kenyans to go the general elections without determining the exact number of registers voters, contrary to the law.
- In total violation of electoral laws, IEBC deliberately gazetted an erroneous voter register whose accuracy was taunted by the existence of illegal multiple registers prepared by the IEBC itself.
- As if this was not enough for IEBC to halt the process, the commission knew that there was loss of biometric data due to IEBC staff negligence, and that the biometric data captured fundamentally differed with the data on the IEBC manual register
- To add insult to injury, during the elections, the IEBC audit reveals that there was massive loss of data during the uploading of data from constituencies to regional level, and as a result there were glaring inconsistencies between data captured using the BVR kits and the final voter’s register.
- In many instances, forms 34, 35 and 36 were not signed nor stamped by the responsible IEBC returning officers as required by law. This anomaly opened a window for competing political forces to manufacture their own election results summary forms.
- Additionally, the IEBC internal audit fuels doubts in the veracity of the results it’s commissioners announced at the National Tallying Centre at Bomas of Kenya since a significant number of IEBC’s returning officers confirm that they came under intense pressure and were compelled to alter results.
- In a shocking case of poor procurement procedure and conflict of interest, Electronic Voter Identification (EVIDs) kits were supplied by South Africa’s Face Technologies (whose local agent is an MP from North Eastern Kenya who contested in the same elections and a brother-in-law of one of the IEBC’s commissioners). The large scale failure of the equipment on election day is noted in the report which says they worked in only 7.5% of the polling stations nationwide.
- IEBC invested billions of shillings in purchase of equipment. Interestingly, none worked as expected with the Results Transmission System (RTS) only being able to transmit presidential poll results from 14,252 out of of 31,981 polling stations (or 44.6%), another window opened for tampering and pussyfooting.
There are many other indictments IEBC places on itself and its commissioners. Nevertheless, this report vindicates the position by Okoa Kenya Movement that the entire elections were deliberately mismanaged and infiltrated by third parties in a bid to attain a predetermined result. It was an absurd subversion of democracy.
Despite the appalling failures in the 2013 general election management, no IEBC commissioner in authority has resigned, or conceded this glaring and systematic failures, instead the IEBC Chairman boldly affirm IEBC’s “readiness” to conduct 2017 elections.
The Okoa Kenya Movement maintains its intention to see electoral reform through positive constitutional amendments to correct these anomalies and strengthen the capability of the IEBC to conduct future general elections.