AU: African Union
DPO: deputy Presiding Officer
EAK: Evangelical Alliance of Kenya
EU: European Union
IEBC: Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission
IRCK: Inter- Religious Council of Kenya
JAP: Jubilee Alliance Party
KIEMS: Kenya Integrated Management System
KIST: Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology
KNCHR: Kenya National Commission of Human R ights
NASA: National Super Alliance
NYS: National Youth Service
PO: Presiding Officer
RO: Returning Officer
SCORK: Supreme Court of the Republic of Kenya
After the August 8th 2017 General elections, there was ordered a fresh Presidential election after the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kenya (SCORK) annulled the results of Presidential results due to several irregularities.
1.1: Reasons for NULIFICATION of the August 8th 2017 Presidential results by The SCORK
1. Illegalities- irregularities were many
2. IEBC did not respect article 10 of the constitution national values and principles of election, Human dignity, inclusiveness, equality and non-discrimination.
3. IEBC did not have accurate results (not transparent) not accurate in the manner of transmission.
4. In announcing IEBC did not verify results making it irregular and unconstitutional violating article 38, fairness for all legal grounds.
5. Another irregularity was the prescribed forms were not used Form 34C for presidential election was a photocopy certified by advocate. Where was the original? 34B at constituency had challenges; some signed others not stamped while others were photocopies.
6. Areas that did not have coverage satellite phones bought were not used yet costed IEBC millions. Areas of doubt Bungoma, Kakamega, parts of Kisumu.
7. Server’s installation for relaying and communication of results to county and national tallying centre’s
8. IEBC failed to comply refused to allow petitioner access. Lack of petitioner to scrutinize spoilt votes and reflected votes.
9. Order of IEBC non-compliance irregularities and illegalities practice were so significant that they affected the results.
10. Declaration of presidential elections was not conducted according to the constitution and law.
11. Declaration of the presidential elections was annulled.
12. Ask IEBC conduct a fresh presidential election in 60 days
13. Declaration that each and all respondents, i.e. IEBC, Chebukati, and the President had committed election irregularities.
2.0: IEBC Ten Points to Confirm preparedness and Credibility in the Repeat fresh Presidential Election
Many questions were being asked as to the preparedness of IEBC conducting the repeat presidential election and this led to preparation of a meeting with stakeholders on 13th October 2017 at Nairobi Safari Club (Lillian Towers)
1. Training of Presiding Officers (PO) and Deputy Presiding Officers (DPO) (Zero tolerance of incompetence)
2. Transparent election as possible (Provision of coordinated for Polling Stations)
3. Standardization of all forms Returning Officer (RO) filling of 290 forms is prone to attract error)
4. KIEMS to transmit both text and forms
5. Providing clarity on complementary mechanisms
6. Putting Safaricom Sim cards in all gadgets for transmission in areas without 3G Network to be reduced from 11,000 to 3,000
7. Changing Constituency level to become the core results from start to end at Polling Stations. Verification to happen at Constituency level. The Polling Station is the locus as per Section 39A, 87(3)B There are currently 40,883 Polling Stations all across, 290 Constituency tallying centers and One national tallying center
8. Clear results pack
9. Involvement of media at all levels
10. Have agents at all levels and stages Form 34A filled Data entered into KIEMS kit Scanned photo sent to IEBC portal KIEMS stores 70,000 digits (1 to 70,000) Alfa Numeric 10 digits (1 to 10) shall make transmission much easier since it’s just one election (Fresh Presidential election)
The main Objective of EAK participating in the observation process was to help generate an objective and independent report to inform church perspective and for stakeholders like IEBC and others. The process was to generate an array of perspectives touching on the fresh Presidential election and check process in term of IEBC electoral mandate and the 2010 Constitution and in respect to electoral laws.
3.0: Challenges that accosted IEBC just before the elections
The challenges that IEBC was faced with just towards the repeat of the fresh Presidential election were numerous. The logistics required to allow the process move on were many and they needed time and good-will from all players, and that was a challenge. Other challenges touched on credibility of the IEBC as a commission linked to the August 8th 2017 election that was nullified by the Supreme Court of Kenya. Push and shove in terms of which commissioners to run the fresh Presidential election was top of the agenda, both JAP and NASA political parties expressing their preferred team of commissioners they wished would be in the commission and others out. This and a few other items caused a stalemate that saw NASA raise some bare minimums for IEBC to meet before engaging in the fresh Presidential election which eventually ended up in their non-participation in the process touching 26th October election. Challenges in a nutshell
1. Tight timelines for IEBC (To recruit staff, train the recruited staff do procurement, etc)
2. Correctly interpreting the spirit and letter of the Supreme Court ruling
3. Dealing with trust issues amongst Kenyans and more specifically NASA
4. Dealing with past speculations, suspicions and propaganda
5. Getting a team that was acceptable by all Political players
6. Laying a level play-field for all players
7. Lack of Staff in some areas and even some that were recruited getting roughed up
8. Interference by Political players ( Political bashing on some key commissioners)
9. Resignation of one key IEBC Commissioner
10. Withdrawal of NASA candidate from the race
11. The nature of the Fresh Presidential election was in itself a major challenge
12. Issues surrounding voters register and actual number of announced voters
13. Questions on whether the election was going to be free, fair, transparent and credible
14. Credibility, legitimacy and visibility of the election and IEBC impartiality and neutrality
The observation process involving three fronts, one, to check pre-election electoral process, check the actual voting day procedures, and three was to check the tallying process and the aftermath. These led to EAK’s interest along other partners like AU, EU, ELOG and others to participate and come in as electoral observers for both the Polling station level, all the way to the national level.
4.0: Thematic areas of EAK Observation report
4.1: A unique election: The fresh Presidential report held on 26th October was a unique one. After the nullification of the Presidential results by SCORK, Kenya became the third country globally and the first in Africa to have the Presidential election nullified. This brought about different dynamics to the type to election of 26th October. As per history, Kenyans in the past were used to electing different categories of leaders on the same day and this time round the country was to go to the polls for one elective position, the President’s position.
4.2: Pre-election drama: The Preliminaries to October 26th election was marred with lots of political drama. Over spill effects of the nullified August 8th General elections and the issues of concern were clearly at play. Preparing for the election was a gigantic challenge as IEBC experienced lots of pressure from the political wing. Institutions like IEBC itself, Judiciary, Legislature and others were under serious attack for certain actions that were viewed as to be interfering with the general process of preparing for the 26th October Fresh Presidential election.
4.3: Realities touching on the election: With pushing and shoving just before the election, a question that many people were asking was whether IEBC was proficient to preside over a free, fair, and credible election within the set period. The election date had to be changed once from the initial situate date of 17th October to now 26th October. Some of the existent issues that were to be dealt with was on reassuring Kenyans on a clean election plan, to devise ways of how to knob logistical issues including hiring of election staff, sourcing for election materials and dialoguing with all pertinent stakeholders for success. Numerous challenges faced IEBC squarely with the pulling out of one major player that is NASA Presidential candidate former prime Minister Raila Odinga from the Presidential election race.
5.0: Election Day report 5.1: Background of EAK report
This report triangulates around the issues faced and observed during the fresh Presidential election on 26th October 2017 in a total of 22 Counties that EAK had observers. The details reported cover about 1500 Polling stations along the mentioned number of Counties. See Appendices attached.
a. Preparation of voting materials
IEBC had voting material a day to October 26th which was the voting day, save for a few areas that had tension and skirmishes.
b. Opening of Polling Centers
Polling Stations opened at 6am in most Counties for polling as stipulated by law. Very few Polling Stations experienced delay due to logistical challenges, the weather and security factors. A place like Imani Center in Athi river Center opened at 6:30am and it had five Polling Stations. The slightly late opening was due to speculated tension at Imani Nursery School Polling Station but the presence of the OCS of Athi River made the place look secure. The Deputy OCS, a good number of police officers, and National Youth Service were there on stand-by. Allegations of ballot stuffing by NASA supporters were experienced at Kariakor Social Hall in Nairobi’s Starehe Constituency hence delay.
Areas of Kirinyaga, Nyamira and Kisii experienced some slight delay in opening due to bad weather. A few Polling Centers in Mombasa and some parts of Eastern had delay due to tension but later picked up well. Despite IEBC earlier preparations, polling centers in the entire Luo Nyanza region never opened up for voting due to political perspective and insecurity reasons in that entire region.
c. IEBC Staff
IEBC staff was trained and ready to facilitate the voting process that was marred with many conventional challenges. IEBC staff this time round operated under a level of political tension due to the uniqueness of this election. IEBC staff trainings and preparation could not go smoothly in some areas as people pushed for reforms. Insecurity was a big issue in some parts of the nation.
However, these challenges notwithstanding, IEBC staffs surmounted them and were on location at least in the Counties that EAK observed; ready to oversee the voting process. All Polling Stations had the presence of a Returning Officer, Deputy Returning Officer, and about three or four clerks. There were IEBC officers outside the Polling
Stations and within the Polling Centers guiding the public on which polling stream to vote as alphabetically arranged.
d. Polling Center and Polling Station layout
This time round the Polling Station layout was much friendlier, signage and labels well placed ropes to confine voters within their voting stream, and voters’ guides to direct.
Based on the nature of this election, one that had not been seen in the entire history of the nation, crowding issues were not felt as it was just one election, the presidential election.
Every Polling Center had police personnel strategically positioned, and other areas had National Youth Service (NYS) personnel to assist. Security was generally beefed up even in areas that had skirmishes. Police were kept on toes in some spots. Kisumu, Nyanza, Homabay, Migori, Mombasa, Eastern and a few other areas experienced levels of violence. There was tension in some areas of Kisii and Nyamira. Athi river areas at Imani Nursery and Mavoko areas also registered levels of tension, running battles with the police being reported. Roads were barricaded with huge stones, and fames of burning car tyres. In about an hour’s time, things went from bad to worse and there were scary sounds of blasting gunshots, teargas and running battles between the police and the rowdy youth. By the end of skirmishes there were unconfirmed reports that three people had been shot dead and others had sustained gunshot wounds and were being attended to in nearby hospitals. Kawangware, Mathare, Kariobangi and Kibera were not safe either and had pockets of violence.
Cases of tension were reported also in Vihiga and Mombasa. In Mombasa, the only bad occurrence witnessed was at Bangladesh in Changamwe where youths barricaded the Mombasa – Nairobi road by burning tyres but normalcy was brought by the heavy police presence. By and large there was beefed security in most parts of the country, and police took proper vigilance of the entire process even though cases of police brutality were reported. Reports that the police used excessive force to keep order in some areas were many.
f. Voting process
The voting process, putting into account that there were not as many voters as they usually are during the General elections, voting was much easier and faster this time round. Channels to check voter registration status were provided for online. IEBC voter guides were at the Polling Centers to guide voters alphabetically on which Polling
stream to vote. KIEMS kits were used as per report in all Polling Stations. Verification of voter status as per ID or Passport was done then issue of ballot paper, one per person, and finally voting. Ballot booths had good privacy.
The voting process began at 6am in most Polling Centers. Agents, mostly from JAP and observers were present in most of these polling centers during opening. The first process was verification of registration on producing of an ID or passport. The second step was placing of finger on KIEMS kit for biometric identification. The third step was issuance of stamped presidential ballot paper that had eight (8) presidential candidates on it namely Aukot John Ekuru Longoggy, Dida Mohamed Abduba, Jirongo Shakhalaga Khwa, Kaluyu Japheth Kavinga, Kenyatta Uhuru, Mwaura Michael Wainaina, Nyaga Joseph William Nthiga, Odinga Raila . Voters were then directed to the polling booth to mark the ballot paper. Casting of the ballot paper into the ballot box followed was the fourth step, then marking of the finger with indelible ink and finally collection of particulars and leaving the polling station after having voted.
g. Voter turnout
The voter turnout was relatively low in some areas and fairly encouraging in others. Several indicators present a clear perspective on the low voter turnout in certain areas. In areas like Kirinyaga, Kisii and a few other areas, it was reported that the heavy rains affected the voter turnout in a way. Vihiga, Kakamega, Mombasa, some parts of Kisii and Nyamira, and the entire Luo Nyanza region experienced low or no voter turnout due to political tension and general insecurity reasons. The nature of this election and the withdrawal of NASA presidential candidate meted a big blow to voter turnout. The above focuses mostly on indicators that affected the electoral process directly rather than statistics. General blow against certain institutions, and relevant players touching on credibility brought a certain percentage of voter apathy. Tight timelines given to have the election conducted was an issue of concern. See annexes attached for some specific reports.
h. Counting process
After elapsing of voting period, the stations were officially closed for preparation of the counting process. Ground rules were set as agreed by all before counting. Seals were then broken and ballot papers place on flat tables. Sorting of papers per candidate was done before open counting per each. Counting process was done loudly as marked, ballot paper after ballot paper reflecting candidate’s name, one at a time.
Results were recorded on form 34A, that were stamped and signed by relevant players including agents, notably from JAP.
The KIEMS kits worked well during the voting process. A few delays were experienced but none the less due to alpha numeric advantage; the machines were not overly loaded giving out the desired output. KIEMS kit having only two names keyed in for Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga showed some level of improper preparation on IEBC side, but overal the machines worked well.
j. Closure of Polling Stations
Polling Stations were closed at 5pm as stipulated by law. The Stations that opened up slightly late due to various reasons made up for the time lost.
k. Tallying process
All Polling Stations results were transported to the Constituency tally center after posting on the IEBC portal through the BVR kit, and later to the National tallying center.
EAK General Secretary Reverend Connie Kivuti, Board Chairperson Bishop Mark Kariuki, Board Vice chairperson Bishop David Oginde and the Board Treasurer Bishop Kepha Omae participated in observation at the National tallying.
l. Media coverage
There was media presence spread all across the 47 Counties of the nation of Kenya even in counties where voting never took place and provision of live transmission.
6.0: Election Day Summary report No Issue Observation Summary Narrative indicators
1. EAK Observer Participation
This process came about through application to IEBC for consideration to observe the Kenyan electoral process. This was accepted and was to be conducted on two fronts, short term and long term observation. The certification of EAK to observe gave observers access into the Polling Centers and county Tallying Centers. EAK had special passes for four (4) of our EAK Board members to access the National Tallying Center at Bomas of Kenya. The nominated EAK Board members included:- Reverend Connie Kivuti, EAK General Secretary Bishop Dr. Mark Kariuki, EAK Board Chairperson Bishop Dr. David Oginde, EAK Board Vice Chairperson Bishop Dr. Kepha Omae, EAK Board Treasurer
EAK for the Fresh Presidential Election had a total of about 320 Observers in 22 Counties. Nairobi, Nakuru,Kilifi, Vihiga, Kirinyaga, Kakamega, Siaya, Mombasa, Nyeri, Machakos, Makueni, Kitui, Kiambu, Samburu, Baringo, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Bungoma, Kajiado, Kisii and Nyamira. EAK had prepared observers for the Nyanza Western circuit but the process could not go on as planned.
Approximate number of Polling Stations where observation was done is roughly One Thousand Five Hundred (1500)
Observers checked the voting process at Polling Station level, Polling Center level, Constituency level and County level. Others went round from location to location whilst others were stationed at one particular Polling Center. IEBC staff could not find it easy to effectively facilitate the process in the Western Nyanza area. Residents complained heavily of police brutality hence the police presence to keep law and order was not a welcome idea. Demonstrations and even looting hit some areas hard. There was loss of lives especially in the Luo Nyanza region during the election season. Dialogue was important and consensus on approaching the issues surrounding Western Nyanza region.
2. Opening up of Polling Stations Was to be done as stipulated by the constitution.
A good number of polling Stations were opened in good time at least by 6am in the morning. Official opening was to be 6am and closing 5pm as stipulated in the constitution.
3. Materials for voting These aided the voting process.
Required materials for voting to aid continuity of the process were on location and in good time save for a few areas/ Area where people voted. Nyanza region where people did not vote. Polling diary, Ballot boxes, Seals, Ballot papers,
Counties. Stamps, relevant forms, stickers, labels, papers and pens.
4. IEBC Staff Offered resource personnel and were the main umpires
All Polling Stations where voting took place had a Presiding Officer, Deputy Presiding officer and about four clerks to aid the process. IEBC staffs were branded in luminous green reflector jackets and had official badges. However, some suspicion was upon IEBC staff.
5. Security Personnel
All Polling Centers had Police Officers assigned to keep law and NYS and order during the voting period and to ensure that electoral laws are up-held. Police presence was welcomed in other areas but in others it was provocative. Police brutality was reported in certain areas.
Agreed gadgets to be used were the KIEMS kit, satellite phones in some areas and servers for storage of information. Major communications companies in Kenya were also included as part of the technology required for transmission.
Kenya Integrated Management System (KIEMS) kit worked well only that in other areas the machines took much longer to facilitate voting for one person than in others.
The issues surrounding transmission were still fresh and effectiveness was required and was still a contentious issue even towards the fresh Presidential election. Some observers experienced the smooth flow of the tool during voting while a few others were denied flowing with the process a good case being Vihiga County. KIEMS kit having only two names keyed in for Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga showed some level of improper preparation on IEBC but the machines worked well.
The IEBC staffs, the Police officers were open to assisting and guiding the process especially at voting level in a transparent way. IEBC staffs were willing to explain details of the process to observers at least in most areas. Polling Station Diaries were kept open at the Stations and most observers signed, were taken through the polling diary or did both.
8. Polling Station layout
Most Polling Stations had a good layout to aid voting and accommodate observers and agents. Markings were strategically placed a slight improvement from the August 8th General Elections, with clear guiding rows in most of the Polling Centers.
9. Voter turnout
According to reports received, the voter turnout was largely low comparatively to the other elections witnessed in the country in the previous years. Maybe this is owed by the nature of the elections, one of a kind in the history of Kenya. Another reason could be withdrawal of NASA, a major competitor in the fresh presidential elections leaving the file for JAP and others. Another possible reason could be fear and the rains.
Issues that surrounded IEBC during this electioneering period were numerous bringing a level of lack of trust in a certain percentage of voters. If all things were constant, voter turnout could be more than what it was on that day but by and large it was low as reported from different quarters in the country. The morning hours were better but it was not encouraging in the afternoons in many Polling Stations.
10. Counting process
Counting was done openly. Before counting, special instructions were issued for all to agree on what a rejected ballot is, what a rejected objected to ballot is, and what a disputed vote is. Ballot boxes were opened and papers poured on a flat desk. Sorting of papers per candidate was done. Open counting was done in full glare of all in the polling station.
11. Recording process
There was presence of all appropriate IEBC forms for the process (Polling diary, Form 34A, and others). Details were recorded as guided by the check list, Appropriate stamps were there and all documents were stamped as required.
12. Transmission of results
Scanned Form 34A was sent smoothly but results entry was entered 000 for all Presidential candidates. The challenge reported in some stations was that the machines only had two names of candidates loaded that is Kenyatta Uhuru and Raila Amolo Odinga making it hard for transmission of figures hence keying in 000 entry for all candidates then send the photo of form 34A
All of the Polling Stations that report was received from were closed at the recommended time and the ones that experienced delay that time was made up for. Wrap up process was generally good. Seals were placed on ballot boxes as witnessed by observers that participated in the counting process.
There were hired vehicles on site to transport ballot boxes. Security was there to guard the ballot boxes to various destined places, station, tallying center.
15. General Assessment
The process before and during was surrounded by lots of uncertainty and traces of fear. Two opinions on whether IEBC would be able to pull the election in a free and fair manner was in question. Withdrawal of Raila Amolo Odinga from the race was a technical blow to the process.
Demonstrations in certain areas of the nation caused tension.
Police presence in some areas coupled by police brutality featured strongly.
Citizens tried their level best to keep peace save for certain areas like Kawangware, Mathare, Kariobangi and Kibera where we had pockets of isolated violence after voting and announcement of the results. Kisumu, Homabay, Siaya some parts of Migori, Mombasa, Kilifi and a few other areas were mostly affected. Voter turnout was fairly low. It is important that the general public gets to know the true statistics in terms of correct number of registered voter, voter turnout and server details. This will address the issues of credibility, legitimacy and visibility touching on the election. Cooling of the temperatures that were at some point on the rise leading to people not voting should also be addressed. Prayers above all should be elevated for success. Overall the election was good.