WHY NASA IS FURIOUS WITH IEBC
The country is facing a serious electoral debacle and a constitutional crisis of monstrous proportions. We need to wake up to this new reality now.
Yesterday IEBC terminated the tender for the supply, delivery, installation, testing and commissioning and support of the Kenya Intergraded Elections Management Systems (KIEMS). The bedrock and bellweather infrastructure of our elections is anchored on the acquisition and deployment of these systems as provided under section 44 of the Elections Act that speaks of the use of technology. Without the establishment of an integrated electronic electoral system no valid elections can be held in Kenya. To introduce a different system by repeal or otherwise of the Election Laws (Amendment) Act 2016, as was partly done through the Election Laws (Amendment) Act 2017 is to legalize the rigging of the next General Elections.
The general elections must be held on 8th August 2017. This cannot be negotiated as the Constitution is supreme and must be respected, obeyed and upheld. This is a position CORD (and now NASA) has firmly taken, even when there was an attempt to change the election date in the National Assembly in 2016.
The tenure of the President shall expire and stand extinguished at midnight on 8th August 2017. The only basis that can make the incumbent hold on to power beyond 8th August 2017 is when an election has been held and the period for the filing and determination of election results subsists. He cannot hold constitutional authority on the basis of a willful default.
Out of this crisis Jubilee is trying to build a case for the amendment of sections 8(A) and 44 of the Elections Act so as to enable IEBC to conduct a manual election without biometric voter registration, electronic voter identification, electronic transmission of results and the statutory audit of the register. It is their desire to remove the use of technology in the elections altogether. This bad faith was exhibited when the Election Laws (Amendment) Act 2017 was enacted early this year.
NASA should set out for the following irreducible and minimum conditions for the conduct of the next general elections.
- Elections must be held on 8th August 2017. No prevarication or uncertainty on this mandatory constitutional requirement.
- IEBC must establish an integrated electronic electoral system that enables biometric voter registration, electronic voter identification and electronic transmission of results.
- There must be ONLY ONE REGISTER OF VOTERS which has been audited by a reputable firm in terms of section 8A and 44 of the Elections Act. The audit must verify the accuracy of the Register.
- Regulations to support, secure and enhance the use of technology must be made and passed by parliament. Such regulations must not be a vehicle for diluting the provisions of section 44 of the Elections Act.
- The technical committee envisaged under section 44(8) of the Elections Act must be established to oversee the adoption of technology in the electoral process and to implement the use of technology.
- Political parties must be consulted throughout the process and their space must not be restricted or limited as they are the major stakeholders.
I had warned of a looming catastrophe on 20th February 2017 in a letter I wrote formally to IEBC. I had raised these alarms even before then. I presented the IEBC’s own case that it had a shortage of funds and lacked a proper data center equipped with new servers. IEBC dismissed my concerns a week ago. They have now raised the same issues including the question of the vanishing statutory timeline.
Let IEBC not hide behind ongoing litigations. Litigation is a legitimate function of the Rule of Law.
DATED at NAIROBI
Wednesday, 22nd March 2017