Anxiety as IEBC declares results

Leaders allied to the Azimio coalition led by Homa Bay Governor Elect Gladys Wanga.

Leaders allied to the Azimio coalition led by Homa Bay Governor Elect Gladys Wanga when they raised concerns on the ongoing verification exercise at the Bomas of Kenya on August 12, 2022. PHOTO DENNIS ONSONGO.
 

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

Summary

  • Kenyans continue to wait with bated breath for the IEBC to announce the man to succeed Kenyatta even as Ruto and Odinga maintain studious silence.
  • The two have left their lieutenants to claim victory in the Tuesday election, with both camps citing figures from their respective tallying centres.
  • Commissioner Abdi Guliye said they have established a four-tier verification process with up to four desks for the verification of results.

The electoral commission yesterday declared results for 22 constituencies, with United Democratic Alliance presidential candidate William Ruto taking an early lead against his main rival Raila Odinga.

To get official election results by the IEBC:Click here then go to official results

Dr Ruto was leading with 560,424 votes against 429,071 votes for the Azimio presidential candidate. Roots Party candidate George Wajackoyah and Agano’s David Mwaure Waihiga tallied less than 5,000 votes.

The constituencies were Webuye East, Aldai, Ndia, Nandi Hills, Kaiti, Moiben, Ainabkoi, Yatta, Gatundu South, Gilgil, Lamu East, Kangundo, Ol Jorok, Kathiani, Baringo Central, Kipkelion East, Mwingi North, Kasarani, Khwisero, Emuhaya, Makueni and Funyula.

Announcing the results, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairperson Wafula Chebukati said 130 returning officers had arrived at Bomas out of the expected 291.

“We are processing the results as they come and will be announcing them periodically as and when they are ready,” he said.

To speed up the process, Mr Chebukati said returning officers would henceforth take only 15 minutes at any verification table.

He directed each desk to take only 15 minutes to process a returning officer. “We will also add more desks to expedite the process.”

Returning officers bringing forms 34A and 34B go through the desks before the results are tallied into Form 34C by Mr Chebukati, the presidential returning officer.

At the time of going to press, 46,203 forms 34A out of the expected 46,229 had been uploaded onto IEBC’s public portal, representing 99.94 per cent.

Candidates silent

Meanwhile, Kenyans continue to wait with bated breath for the IEBC to announce the man to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta even as Dr Ruto and Mr Odinga maintain studious silence.

The two have left their lieutenants to claim victory in the Tuesday election, with both camps citing figures from their respective tallying centres.

Both Azimio and Kenya Kwanza leaders have pitched camp at Bomas since Wednesday as the numbers increasing with each passing day.

Yesterday, Azimio executive director Raphael Tuju, Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi, outgoing Laikipia governor Ndiritu Muriithi and Saitabao ole Kanchory, among other leaders in the coalition, held a closed-door meeting at around 11 am at a facility designated for them within Bomas.

The media is not allowed at the facility, which is under 24-hour security. Only Azimio officials and Bomas staff who serve them are allowed in. Inside the auditorium, more leaders occasionally conversed in groups and made frantic calls. 

On the Kenya Kwanza side were outgoing Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, nominated MP Wilson Sossion, senators Kipchumba Murkomen and Aaron Cheruiyot, and outgoing Lang’ata MP Nixon Korir, among other leaders.

Azimio leaders that trooped to Bomas yesterday included outgoing Kitui governor Charity Ngilu, her Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya, Homa Bay governor-elect Gladys Wanga, Kasipul MP Ong’ondo Were, MP-Elect Felix Odiwuor Jalang’o (Langata), Caleb Amisi (Saboti) and Rosa Buyu (Kisumu West).

ODM chairman John Mbadi and Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi made it to Bomas in the morning and were constantly seen consulting.

“We are winning this, we are just here at Bomas to confirm that. In fact, Mr Chebukati should announce the winner now,” Mr Wandayi said.

On the Kenya Kwanza side were outgoing Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, Wilson Sossion, Senators Kipchumba Murkomen, Aaron Cheruiyot immediate Lang’ata MP Nixon Korir among others.

Following unconfirmed reports that some results from some regions may have been doctored, a source at IEBC told the Nation that at least one quality officer has now been seconded to each of the four desks just to ensure that all the results meet the integrity test.

“The desks are much busier today and working well, we have also added one quality check officer in all the verification processes,” the source said.

Secure systems

Nevertheless, IEBC chief executive officer Marjan Hussein Marjan allayed the fears, saying they have put in place mechanisms to safeguard their systems against any attempts to compromise them.

He explained that the Commission had anticipated that there could be attempts to hack into their systems hence the move to secure its systems.

Mr Marjan pointed out that they have been monitoring all their systems at all levels including network, application, database and operating and no hacking has taken place.

“Of course, we know people are not sleeping as they want to make sure our systems are down, but I don’t think there is any time that our portal has been down even for a second. This is because of the mechanisms we have put in place,” said the CEO.

“So we assure the whole country that our systems are secure and the mechanisms we have put in place are foolproof,” he added.

Further, Commissioner Abdi Guliye said they have established a four-tier verification process with up to four desks for the verification of results. They are the preliminary checks, coordination, administrative and quality assurance desks.

He said the Constituency Returning Officers (ROs) bringing forms 34A and 34B will have to go through the desks before the results are tallied into form 34C by Mr Wafula Chebukati, the presidential returning officer.

The ROs will first report to the preliminary desk, where basic checks such as whether the forms have been stamped, and signed and the entry of data done appropriately.

Candidates silent

Electoral officials at the desk will also do a quality check on the entry form 34B against the original form 34A.

At the coordination desk, IEBC officers will check for any error in the forms then generate an error report. The desk has been divided into two and will also look at whether forms uploaded on the public portal match what’s been brought by the ROs.

At the third desk, officers will check what their counterparts in the first and second desks have done to ensure everything is alright. At the administrative desk, officers will do a quality check of the forms before they are kept in a safe room in the auditorium, which is manned by police.

“Once the quality assurance desk is done, they can share the original forms with the presidential returning officer. The originals will then be kept under lock and key in our safe,” said Prof Guliye.