Three big problems in Raila Odinga’s Petition
Yesterday I wrote about the loophole in Okiya Omtatah’s petition. If the loophole will be brought to the attention of the Supreme Court, and I believe IEBC will do so, then Okiya Omtatah’s petition will be thrown out. The same loophole found in Okiya Omtatah’s petition is also found in Raila Odinga’s petition. In Okiya Omtatah’s petition, we find a figure of 140,138 votes as untallied votes, but in Raila Odinga’s petition, we find a figure of over 250,000 votes that the chairman of IEBC could not account for. Raila Odinga’s petition also has a figure of 140,028 as the difference between the total number of votes recorded in form 34C and the total number of votes reported in KIEMS kits.
Problem 1: No discrepancies in figures announced by Chebukati
In the article showing the loophole in Okiya Omtatah’s petition, I took the time to show that IEBC can logically and consistently explain the seeming discrepancies in the figures. Thus, the allegation that the figures don’t add up isn’t going to hold ground at the Supreme Court (unless of course the Judges, the IEBC lawyers, and the Kenya Kwanza lawyers are equally poor at math).
To ensure that you understand why there are no serious discrepancies in the figures, let us take the case of votes declared in form 34C vs those reported by the KIEMS kits. In form 34C we find that the total number of votes cast (valid votes + rejected votes) is 14,326,751. On August 10th 2022, Wafula Chebukati announced that the voter turnout that had been captured via KIEMS kits is 14,164,561. The difference between the two figures is 162,190. This means that the number of cast votes as per form 34C is higher than the number of cast votes as per KIEMS kits by 162,190. This figure of 162,190 can easily be explained as the number of cast votes as per the manual register. I therefore do not see how Raila Odinga’s petition arrived at the 140,028 figure as the discrepancy between KIEMS kits turnout and form 34C turnout.
Problem 2: John Githongo’s affidavit
If there is anything that one can call a bombshell in Raila Odinga’s petition then it is John Githongo’s affidavit. The affidavit claims that a young man approached John Githongo and narrated to him how Kenya Kwanza received form 34As, altered them, and then transferred the altered forms to the IEBC portal. But there are problems with the affidavit.
Firstly, as explained by one lawyer in a TV interview, an IEBC or Kenya Kwanza lawyer can easily dismiss the affidavit as hearsay – unless of course the young man who approached Githongo can demonstrate how they intercepted form 34As, alternated them, gained access to IEBC portal, then uploaded the altered forms in the IEBC portal. Secondly, Azimio must produce copies of the original form 34As that will show the discrepancies in figures between the original form 34As, and the versions of the said forms that were uploaded to the portal.
Secondly, there are two issues in paragraph 10 (iii) on page 3 of John Githongo’s affidavit, where the young man allegedly explained to John Githongo that “in the 1st petitioner’s strongholds, the presidential votes would be systematically reduced in very small numbers in various polling stations from the 1st petitioner’s numbers and added to the 9th respondent. This explained the discrepancy between the other elective positions’ total valid votes cast and those of presidential votes, where the 1st petitioner’s votes in his strongholds seemed lower than the total number of valid votes cast for other elective positions”.
The two issues are 1. subtracting x number of votes from Raila Odinga and adding the same x number of votes to William Ruto would not interfere with the number of votes cast nor the number of valid votes cast for the presidential or any other elective position. For example, assume in some random polling station where 431 voters turned up to vote, and Raila Odinga scored 375 votes, Ruto scored 46 votes, Mwaure scored 1 vote and Wajackoya scored 4 votes for a total of 426 valid votes and 5 rejected ballots, deducting 75 votes from Raila Odinga and adding the same 75 votes to William Ruto would yield 300 votes for Raila Odinga, 121 votes for William Ruto, 1 vote for Mwaure, and 4 votes for Wajackoya for a total 426 valid votes and 5 rejected ballots. You can see from this simple subtraction and addition that the number of valid votes remains intact. If the same 431 people had all voted for governor, then the total number of ballot papers in the governor’s ballot box will still be 431 – but the number of valid ballots in the governor’s box would for example be 429 if only 2 ballots were rejected for the governor’s position.
The second issue is the expectation that the number of valid ballots ought to be the same across elective seats. That may happen but should not be expected to be the case. In our previous example, the number of cast votes in a polling station, e.g. 431 in our case, is expected to be the same for every elective seat; but the number of valid votes for the presidential seat can be 426 with 5 rejected ballots, the number of valid votes for the governor’s seat can be 429 with 2 rejected ballots, the number of valid ballots for the senator’s seat can be 431 with 0 rejected ballots, etc.
What the foregoing shows us is that either Jogh Githongo doesn’t know what he is testifying about through his affidavit, or the young man he purports to have spoken to didn’t know how the elections at each of the 46,229 polling stations work. In any case, the type of adulterations in form 34As as he explained could not create discrepancies between the number of cast votes between different elective seats. Also, the differences in the number of valid votes in the elective seats were expected to occur naturally.
Problem 3: Lying
The last problem in Raila Odinga’s petition is outright lying. I noticed this when I read item d. in paragraph 84 of the petition that reads, “In Lurambu Constituency Kakamega High School polling station 1 of 2, the 1st petitioner’s votes were reduced by 100 but not accounted for or added to any candidate. The total number of valid votes cast in the return does not add up with what is declared. The petitioner contends that in his strongholds, his votes would simply be reduced without adding them to any candidate”.
Since the item disclosed the polling station in question, I quickly checked from the IEBC portal and discovered that it is the same exact polling station from where I had downloaded form 34A, doctored it, and used the doctored form to show our readers that it is possible to change the results in form 34A. Interestingly, the original form 34A had Raila score 186 votes but I changed his votes to 286. Now Raila Odinga’s petition claims that his original votes were 286 but reduced to 186 (or rather that his votes were reduced by 100).
If item d. paragraph 84 in Raila Odinga’s petition is a lie, what else is the petition lying about?