Ahead of elections, Kenya’s opposition parties to launch tallying centers

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The elections were marred by technical failures, with the Electronic Voter Transmission (EVT) crashing early on the morning of the Election Day, which ODM leader claiming it was a sabotage

Njeri Kimani, editorial@alleastafrica.com

NAIROBI – Opposition Leader and the National Super Alliance (NASA) co principal Raila Odingas announcement to have parallel tallying center on the August 8 Election has brought jitters to the ruling party.

In his new dubbed “Adopt A polling Station” Raila intends to dispatch a committee of 50 people to monitor and count the results. They will act as party agents and voter marshals and will announce the genuine results against the IEBC results.

Perhaps to justify his mistrust with the Independent Election and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) whom he accused of infiltrating figures in the 2013  elections, Odinga has vowed to ensure that this time victory is not “stolen” from him.

Odinga feels that IEBC was responsible for doctoring results which saw him loose to current President Uhuru Kenyatta. This time, Odinga said agents would scan the result documents and relay them in real time once they are announced at every polling station

“We will compare our results this time and we will not accept any fake results,” he added.

Raila claimed that the Elections Laws Amendment Act of 2016 provided for announcement of results at three levels – the polling station, constituency and national which they will utilize.

The elections were marred by technical failures, with the Electronic Voter Transmission (EVT) crashing early on the morning of the Election Day, which ODM leader claiming it was a sabotage.

Raila feels that the deliberate failures of the system were used to interfere with figures of the results.

“We already have checked on the numbers and we are confident of our win. In 2013, we won and this time we will also win.” He added.

Deputy President William Rutodismissed Railas demand, claiming that they had already sensed defeat and were looking for shortcuts to declare themselves winners.

“It is a desperate move and situation as they already know they do not have any chance in the august elections. They should garner votes and give room for IEBC to do their work otherwise interfering with their mandate is the kicks of a dying horse,” he added.

Ruto claimed that it was obvious that opposition did not have any formula of winningespecially since they did not have any agenda or a flag bearer and were only creating tactics and shortcuts to announce themselves winners.

National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale squashed the idea saying he tallying centre by NASA shall not be recognized.

“The centers will create opportunities for conflicts and would leads to cases of violence like what was experienced in 2008,” said Duale.

MwangiKuria,21, a  Radio presenter  feels that this is a recipe for destruction.

“Of course there will be conflicting figures and each team will try to show their figures are right. It is this desperancies in numbers that brought war in 2007 especially since different groups had very different results. Raila should respect IEBCs mandates and hence let them carry out their roles,” he added.

Joseph Ngugi, 32, a social media manager, questions the motive of the 50 youths that will be deployed in all the polling stations.

“It’s clear that they are out to cause chaos. The number is too much and with the rowdiness experienced in the previous campaigns and elections in poll stations the situation will get worse when anything is proclaimed that does not favor them,” he added.

Joyce Chege,24, a communication expert, points out that the paralleltallying  had always been carried out in all the elections.

“It’s just that Raila made it public but having participated and covered various elections, we normally have people who tabulate the results  and compare them with the final ones,” she added.

Elizabeth Aywech, 48, a doctor, sees no problem with the tallying center, pointing out that it will create room to justify IEBCS credibility.

“The more people can access the results, the more confidence we will have with IEBC. Otherwise coming up with figures and announcing them will create an ambiguous win for the politicians competing for the posts,” she added.

The idea sends chills to Margaret Wafula, 58, a retired teacher.

She points out that the difference in figures was what caused chaos in 2007.

“This is a recipe for disaster. Any difference in the numbers would cause people to pick machetes again and might lead to more deaths than we witnessed nine years ago,” she added.

IEBC Chairman WafulaChebukati termed the demands as illegal and will not be allowed.

“Only IEBC count, tally, collate, announce and declare the results of an election. They can do their tallying but only IEBC is mandated to declare the winners,” said Chebukati

He added that the law will take its course in case anyone announces any parallel results the law will take its course,” he added

The Secretary General of the Kenya Union Of Journalists (KUJ)  EricOdour  proposed that even Media houses should have their own tallying  to promote credibility.

“With multiple stakeholders tallying we would be able to compare notes and it will prevent the inflating of figures.  They will be able to compare notes and in fact issue Kenyans with mutual results,” said Odour.

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