#OkoaKenya: The strong case for electoral reforms

iebcTHE 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.

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4 comments on “#OkoaKenya: The strong case for electoral reforms

  1. The governor’s referendum is turning out to be pretty interesting. We all know that these governors want more money to the county which is the same thing that CORD wants among others. But while CORD has made up its mind and drew an action plan, the governors are still, going by what the media reports, blowing hot and cold.
    Jubilee (mostly TNA) has tried to project this as an Isaack Ruto driven project that is meant to topple William Ruto locally in RVP. The aim here is to keep the two Ruto´s fighting each other while the president sits pretty looking good. Truth be told, RVP stands to gain a lot out of this referendum. We also know that central province has always been against the same since its initiation. Basically those behind the push to derail the referendum is the TNA central province wing of Jubilee only that they have cleverly passed the responsibility to URP via William Ruto.

    I for one don’t know waht Isaack Ruto and the council of governors want because they keep sending out conflicting signals. http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000136581/referendum-can-wait-until-2016-governors-say/. Sometimes they are for the referendum like yesterday, yet sometimes they want to negotiate with the government.

    Obviously there is immense pressure from the two top jubilee honchos for the Jubilee governors to drop their push. We have seen that one by one they are dropping off like flies. The aim here being to have the whole push look like a CORD sponsored initiative to topple the government. Interestingly, Jubilee that has the number has not even attempted to address the issues raised by CORD in parliament. There has been bribing MCAs and governors. Take for example the recent announcement by Uhuru to grant MCAs 2M for cars and 3 for offices. http://mobile.nation.co.ke/news/Uhuru-promises-goodies-for-MCAs/-/1950946/2253086/-/format/xhtml/-/wf3xg8/-/index.html.

    Having realized that even with bribe the referendum would be hard to stop. Some of the Jubilee governors have now resorted to unorthodox means to stop the same. The Nakuru governor is not only confiscating and burning the Okoa signature books but also purporting to ban their rallies in the region. This criminal action has not been condemned by the government nor has the police attempted to arrest the criminals involved. Such is the level of intolerance in the country today. It’s just a matter of time before things explode.

    That the referendum has shaken the establishment is just a fact. I guess that this will be the most difficult thing to campaign against because those against would be basically saying the people don’t deserve more money which translates to better services in hospitals, better roads, creation of jobs etc. This is why Jubilee is trying to twist the issue to mean that exercise is meant to increase taxes in the short term and in the long term topple Uhuruto. The third angle of assault has been to say that this is just a tactic by CORD to stay relevant. My guess is that even if the governors quit now the people will still vote the referendum. Its only the IEBC (tallying wrongly as usual) that might stop OKOA from winning.

  2. Phil great to bring this to us and we are listening loud and clear.
    What surprises me is that IEBC calls an independent body to carryout an audit on its 2013 elections performance, then after getting the results, the same IEBC turns around to condemn publicly the same findings. Perhaps IEBC thought that the audit firm would not find the balls to actually put in black and white all the deliberate “mistakes” they made. In another country, the whole commission would have resigned but in Kenya Isaak is still waiting not only to carry out the referendum but help Jubilee to power one more time. But the scarier thing is that neither the government, parliament nor senate is talking about this report. All directly or indirectly understand that the tyranny of numbers is at work and nothing can happen to the thieves from IEBC. The attempt to sacrifice some few people at IEBC and save Isaak in clear for all to see. It’s only these sacrificial lambs that can reveal what really happened. But can and will they? I don’t think so.

    • It’s a bulky document, lots of detail, IEBC never imagined it would find it’s way out but I will explore how we can serialize it so the details can be public.

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