The Media and NASA are the ones that failed Chris Msando – He didn’t have to die

It is now a given that Chris Msando was killed so that it could be possible for someone to create unauthorized accounts in IEBC servers for the accounts to be used for adulteration of presidential results. This I say because Wafula Chebukati through a memo asked Ezra Chiloba why an account under his name was created and used almost 10,000 times during the transmission of presidential results without his knowledge or permission. But as I think through the transmission question right now, I can see that Chris Msando was killed simply because IEBC and NASA failed to do their jobs properly. If they did their jobs properly, we wouldn’t have needed results to be relayed electronically to the National Tallying Centre in the first place.

Stay with me.

In the run to the August 8th General Elections, Maina Kiai went to High Court to ask the Court to determine that results announced at Constituency Tallying Centres are final. The High Court heard him and granted him his request. IEBC and Jubilee would challenge the ruling in the Court of Appeal, but sad for them the Court of Appeal would uphold the High Court ruling. Basically therefore, the Maina Kiai vs IEBC case affirmed the Constitutional Provision that Kenya’s Presidential Elections are conducted on Constituency by Constituency basis.

Article 138 subarticle 2 that deals with Procedure of Presidential Election Provides that “If two or more candidates for President are nominated, an election shall be held in each constituency.”

Now that the Courts and Constitution state that Presidential Elections are to be conducted in every Constituency, it then follows that a Presidential Election should be organized and conducted on a Constituency by Constituency basis. What that means for IEBC is this:

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That a Presidential Election shall be organized and conducted such that results from every polling station is properly documented and announced in that polling station, and then the properly documented and announced results are electronically and physically transmitted to the Constituency Tallying Centre (not to the National Tallying Centre). The electronic aggregates of the Constituency results at any given time is what is relayed to the National Tallying Centre for national display, not the individual polling centre results. Results electronically relayed to the constituency tallying centres must be accompanied by scanned copies of statutory documents like forms 34A.

Once the electronic aggregates at the Constituency Tallying Centres are finalized and relayed to the National Tallying Centre, the physical copies of forms 34A will be availed at the Constituency Tallying Centres and checked against the scanned copies, then manually tallied, and the final Constituency Result Announced. This Announcement is a major one and must be covered by the media so that the public can know the final results per Constituency as they are being announced. Any disputes at the Constituency Levels must be noted at the announcement stage.

Monitoring the Presidential Election by political parties must also be done on a Constituency by Constituency basis. A party like NASA must deploy its agents from Constituency structures, where the agents know that their boss is the party’s Constituency Agent. The Constituency Agent must be able to be in touch with all the polling stations agents at all times, and especially when the counting begins. Immediately after the counting is done, the polling station agent shall send the polling station’s results via text message to the Constituency Agent, and shortly after send scanned form of the same results to the same agent. Later, the polling station agents must hand over a copy of his results to the Constituency Agents. The Constituency Agent will be able to verify the IEBC results at the Constituency against the results he has received from his polling station agents. If there are disputes, he will be able to promptly lodge them with the Constituency Returning officer.

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Once satisfied that all results from all polling stations within his Constituency are legitimate, he will send his tally alongside IEBC tally to the party’s National Tallying Centre. The National Tallying Centre operated by the party should be able to verify the figures received from the Constituency Agents against figures being displayed by the IEBC’s National Tallying Centre.

In the introduction of this article I mentioned that those who failed Chris Msando are IEBC and NASA. I intentionally left out Jubilee because I believe that the manner in which the August 8th results were relayed was to the benefit of Jubilee, so they wouldn’t have any reasons to monitor results on a Constituency by Constituency basis.

When elections are properly conducted on a Constituency by Constituency basis and results promptly announced at polling stations and at Constituency Tallying Centres, and the media is present to relay the Constituency results as they are being announced, then I do not see why anyone would have wanted to kill an ICT Director like Chris Msando in order to take control of IEBC’s National Tallying Centre. Chris Msando was killed simply because IEBC did not conduct the election in accordance with the Constitution, simply because NASA did not push enough for IEBC to follow the law.

The Challenge is now on NASA – they must ensure elections are properly conducted and monitored on a Constituency by Constituency basis.  I say NASA because Jubilee has nothing to gain if and when the election is conducted on a Constituency by Constituency basis.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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