Faulty system haunts Kenya’s poll

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

The road is still rough towards unveiling of Kenya’s next president. Four days after Kenyans cast the ballot, the final results on who the next president is yet to be announced by the Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The delay was occasioned by breakdown of an electronic system employed by IEBC to relay results right from polling centres across the country to the National tallying center at the capital, Nairobi.

From the manual tallying, the two leading coalitions in the race to State House are, however, neck and neck with Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee ahead of Raila Odinga’s Cord with over half a million votes.

Kenyatta had garnered 5,159,344 votes against Odinga’s  4,516,660 with 239 out of 291 constituencies reporting.

The Cord coalition has already protested over ‘possible rigging’ especially after the electronic system of relaying results crashed.

The Africa Centre for Open Governance (Africog), a civil society group, also moved to the High Court on Thursday seeking to stop the vote tallying over what it termed as massive rigging.

The High Court however dismissed the petition since it does not have jurisdiction to rule on the matter.

Justices Isaac Lenaola, David Majanja and Weldon Korir said that the court had no power to hear the application.

Africog’s executive director Gladwell Otieno said the vote tallying was questionable after the electronic system was compromised.

The technology was aimed at avoiding the violent disputes that led to 1,200 deaths in the 2007 General Election.

Ms Otieno called for fresh tallying through verification of results using the primary forms from the polling stations.

IEBC chairman Isaack Hassan said IEBC intends to announce the final result before the end of Friday.  

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