28 March 2013

Kenya: Raila - Uhuru's Win Must Be Annulled

Nairobi — Prime Minister Raila Odinga's lawyers completed submissions in his election petition, urging the court to annul Uhuru Kenyatta's first round win in the March 4 General Election.

Through his lead lawyer George Oraro, Odinga said that votes were manipulated in favour of Kenyatta and that they aided his acquisition of the constitutional threshold for declaration as winner.

"If after going through all these anomalies you (judges) are satisfied that votes affected are more than 8,419 then it must not be gainsaid that the election must be set aside. On that aspect there cannot be a public interest and proportionality consideration," Oraro submitted saying that there were 11,000 votes taken away from Odinga and another 7,215 awarded to Kenyatta.

According to Oraro, there were illegalities in compilation of the register, the biometric identification of voters, the transmission of the provisional results and the tallying process.

Oraro told the court that the there was total failure of the tallying process as prescribed by law and that presiding officers were not part of the verification of results.

"The presiding officers who were the institutional anchors for clear transparent and credible election were bypassed. Nobody knows what happened from when the forms were handed over to returning officers to when they arrived at Bomas," he said.

He submitted that Odinga's agents were denied the chance to participate in the tallying process at the Bomas of Kenya and were instead 'kicked out.'

He said IEBC had told agents that results will be transmitted electronically by the presiding officers to returning officers as wells as to the national tallying centre but that it never happened, creating room for manipulation.

There was nothing to verify - in the absence of electronic transmission - so agents had to go through form 34 and compare them with entries in form 36 which was a working document.

"Verification using form 36 alone is no verification within meaning of the Election Act," he added.

He maintained that the result transmission system was designed to fail, and produced a letter from mobile service provider Safaricom that warned of inadequate preparations around the effective operation of the system.

"The result transmission system did not fail as an accident, like everything else that failed, it was within the knowledge of the IEBC way before the election," he said referring to the letter by Safaricom.

In the letter, Oraro said that Safaricom had warned that as at February 21 there was insufficient information on the location of the over 33,000 polling stations from where results would be transmitted.

Safaricom had also wanted that tests be done on the transmission solution to ensure that the relaying of information from polling stations to the tallying centre was done within expected timelines.

In the letter, Oraro said that the service provider had also told IEBC to conduct testing of the security of transmission systems and the capacity to handle huge traffic and the possibility of external penetration attacks.

Lawyer Ochieng Oduol also acting for Odinga insisted that there was a suspect reason why IEBC failed to disclose the extent of the relationship between IEBC and Kencall which hosted the IEBC's server alongside that of The National Alliance.

According to Oduol, there was access to information on the server by the head of Information Technology (IT), the IT developer and the operations director at Kencall apart from access allowed to IEBC staff which compromised the system.


Lordrick is a graduate of the University of Nairobi with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. He is passionate about political and governance issues. He also takes keen interest in human rights matters, justice and is fond of sports.

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