Jan 27, 2023

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

IEBC begins to feel pressure from aspirants

Kenya’s electoral commission has come under renewed pressure from presidential campaigns accused of bias or inaction against external interference.

Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party posted its latest letter of protest on Tuesday submitted to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), which complains that the country’s ICT Minister, Joe Mucheru, is openly running for his rival Raila Odinga.

Mr. Mucheru is not the only cabinet minister to have attended Mr Odinga’s campaign rallies ahead of his election, at which President Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed the opposition leader as his successor.

But Dr. Ruto’s party has singled out the ICT minister for his perceived involvement in the preparation of election-related IT systems.

In reality, it is the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), a quasi-autonomous authority, that has a limited role plays in the preparations for the election by providing Internet connections at polling stations to el Electronic Results Transmission.

The IEBC uses biometric kits for voter registration and identification and operates a parallel results transmission system in which presidential election results are transmitted both manually as well as manually from the polling stations to the national vote counting center as electronic images.

In the event of discrepancies, the results announced by the officials in the polling stations, filled out on paper and witnessed by campaign workers count.

The Kenya Electoral Commission is relatively independent compared to its competitors pensions in the region, which are largely controlled by their respective governments.

After a particularly dark chapter in the history of the electoral administration in 2007, when a dispute over the presidential election erupted, the country was on the brink of civil war , the commission was reformed in subsequent elections to try to win back public confidence.

Its top officials are competitively selected and undergo parliamentarian ry scrutiny during hearings, which were broadcast live on national television.


It has also increasingly used technology to ensure the integrity of the elections.

But suspicions about the technology have continued following procurement scandals, biometric kit failures and Supreme Court justices who questioned the credibility of the electronically transmitted results in their landmark decision, the President annulled it 2017 elections.

The judges cited the fact that the official results announced by the IEBC on the electronic count before the manual results were tallied among the irregularities and illegalities that led them to the election result.

In the run-up to this year’s election, the IEBC also has deep-seated personal grudges from the 2017 debacle that we must deal with.

Mr. Odinga, President Kenyatta’s victory challenged a second time in the Supreme Court has not concealed his dislike for the commission’s chairman, Wafula Chebukati.