Media Release

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission advertised that 11,155 polling stations would be out of 3G or 4G GSM network coverage. NASA led public protest questioning the timing of the announcement that 25% of the total polling stations would have no network for the transmission of election results. We have since understood that the IEBC Chair Wafula Chibukati in his attempts to calm concern has stated that 78% has either2G and 3G coverage while returning officers in affected tallying centres will use satellite phones.

His reassurance contradicts the advertisement by the Commission CEO Ezra Chiloba which can only be construed to have been a lie. To say that officers will have to look for higher ground in order to transmit or communicate amounts to chicanery. The intent to move tallying and transmission activities from gazetted and controlled elections is disruptive of the process of a credible election.

It is not enough for the IEBC Chairman to say that returning officers in affected tallying centres will use satellite phones. IEBC should pronounce itself clearly on the transmission of results from places without network coverage. We require confirmation that there are sufficient satellite phones for all electoral officials operating in areas with poor coverage. We also need confirmation by tomorrow morning that these satellite phones were dispatched and have already reached the affected officers.

It is also critically important that IEBC instructs its officers not to leave the polling centre until they have made the electronic transmission. If their phones fail, they should wait until a replacement is brought. Under no circumstances should election officials leave the polling centre with un-transmitted results.

There is also confusion regarding the position of IEBC concerning the stamping of ballot papers. Again we have contradictory positions being taken by the Chairman and the CEO. IEBC must give a final and conclusive position on the validity of unstamped ballot papers.

NASA is further concerned by the misuse of individual election commission officials by Jubilee. We have information that Jubilee is using the IEBC secretariat to direct presiding officers to act as agents for Jubilee presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta to convey information on voter turnout to the Jubilee tallying centre. There are also plans to extend voting hours in Jubilee strongholds with a view to giving Jubilee zones undue advantage both in terms of voter turnout and sequence of reporting results to enable manipulation. The sum total is to manipulate results in the same manner as in 2007 and 2013.

We are appealing to presiding officers not to allow themselves to be misused by an individual within the Commission to become agents of the Jubilee presidential candidate. We further appeal to all agents and observers who will be in the precincts of the tallying centres to be vigilant and raise alarm if the see irregular and suspicious behaviour.

We urge all registered voters to turn out to exercise their democratic right and patriotic duty by voting for the leaders of their choice.

Norman Magaya
NASA Coalition