Africog report highlights election challenges
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will ensure seamless connectivity between satellite and 3G or 4G internet speed, “to minimize foul play” during Election Day.
IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba, in an attempt to allay fears and built the electorate’s confidence in forthcoming Elections, noted that it is unlikely that both the system for transmitting election results electronically and its backup will fail at the same time.
“In case the kit fails, it must completely fail, including the backup and this is when we use the alpha-numeric search for comparison. We also have the printed register,” said Chiloba.
He further noted that the IEBC had provided data and public access online for anyone, and that they will publish the voter register on the same portal, making it easier for people to check from Thursday this week.
Chiloba revealed that there was an increment of voters by 35%, meaning that there were an additional 5.2 million voters onto the voters list.
He was speaking in Nairobi on Tuesday, at a public forum organized by the Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice (KPTJ) and the Africa Centre for Open Governance (Africog), where he launched a report on Kenya’s readiness for the upcoming elections.
Executive Director, Africog, Gladwell Otieno said that Kenya had made important milestones but noted the presence of some challenges.
“Teething problems like transparency, insecurity and violence, have implications for voter participation,” said Otieno, adding that “recent chaotic party primaries and issues of procurement, implications of Parliament’s failure to pass the two-thirds gender rule are also other challenges.”
She however recommended that transparency and regulations, including live media updates for those without internet connectivity would help improve credibility.
The report pointed out experiences during the primaries such as insufficient security measures to guard ballot boxes, shambolic preparations where some voters failed to find their names in the register and lack of proper legal framework that would address resultant litigations as some of the reasons that could create misgivings among the electorate.
It further recommended the need to have a large pool of informed citizenry through voter education so as to safeguard against voter apathy.
The report concluded that with less than one month remaining before the polls, there are several issues of serious concern such as legal reform, voter registration, party primaries, security, voter education, and electoral dispute resolution that impact negatively on the entire process.
The report comes at a time when the IEBC is embroiled in court battles with the National Super Alliance, and other election players.
Present during the event were representatives from the Kenya Human Rights Commission and European Union election observers among others.