11 August 2017

Kenya: Why Nasa Claim On Poll Result Is Dead in the Water

The National Super Alliance has upped the ante dramatically by producing its own numbers purporting to show that Mr Raila Odinga has won the presidential election.

Mr Odinga and running-mate Kalonzo Musyoka, their presidential campaign managers Musalia Mudavadi, James Orengo and Johnson Muthama, as well as other Nasa luminaries gathered at the press conference yesterday, all knowing that their pronouncement cannot stand any test.

Mr Odinga loves football analogies on the campaign platform.

He surely knows that nowhere in the world does a team towards the tail-end of a match declare its own sets of results, even where there is no evidence of any goals being scored and demand to be awarded the trophy.

Nasa knows that the outcome of the presidential election cannot be dictated by a competitor.

DECLARATION

They also know that their declaration on Thursday could only have been designed to aggravate the presidential election dispute.

The Nasa campaign, of course, has every right to question the conduct of the elections at any time and demand redress.

Indeed they started doing that very early in the counting process when they questioned the broadcasting of preliminary results before the numbers had been validated through the actual and manual Forms 34 A and B result slips.

Instead of waiting patiently for the validated results, Nasa came up with fresh claims that the data being released was manipulated following the hacking of the IEBC servers that allegedly introduced a formula to give President Uhuru Kenyatta a consistent lead over Mr Odinga.

HACKING

At the same time, Nasa claimed that its own tallying system gave Mr Odinga the lead, contrary to the IEBC numbers that had President Kenyatta well ahead.

The hacking story was widely debunked as fake by IT experts who perused the data in the 52-page document distributed as evidence.

It is probable that some of the experts could not be taken at face value because they were trotted out on a TV station controlled by the Kenyatta family.

But Nasa still had the chance, and the moral obligation, to respond to the doubters.

Instead of moving to fortify its claims, it came up with equally unproven proclamations of victory.

One would have to be extremely charitable not to dismiss these numbers with utter contempt.

The patient among us might want to give Nasa the benefit of doubt and wait to see if their victory numbers match what will come out of the IEBC validation expected to produce the final and definitive presidential election results.

TALLYING CENTRES

But then, Nasa also now indicates it does not trust the process going on at the National Tallying Centre.

It fears that the raw data -- the actual physical result forms from the counting-cum-polling stations and constituency tallying centres -- has also been interfered with.

It was Nasa that demanded that the result forms from the polling stations be used to cross-check the provisional results being streamed on the IEBC Web portal.

Earlier, before the elections, it was Nasa that secured the sanctity of Forms 34 A and B against any changes, or validation, at Bomas of Kenya; and finality of the results announced at polling stations.

It was also Nasa that successfully pushed for the ouster of the discredited former electoral commissioners, leading to appointment of the Wafula Chebukati team.

All those were significant victories in the struggle to ensure a free and fair election.

FINAL RESULTS

We can still wait to see if Nasa will be vindicated once the final results are released, probably in the next few hours.

But if the IEBC numbers do not match the Nasa numbers, there can be no doubt which set will prevail.

If Nasa still disputes the outcome, they have every right to take their protests to the Supreme Court.

Still however, one will be forgiven for wondering if Nasa was fighting for an electoral system only free and fair if it gives them victory.

Mr Odinga is a genuine Kenyan hero. He has fought a hard and long battle for democracy, human rights and a just and equitable society.

JAIL

He has withstood record stints in jail without trial, torture, exile and suffering so that Kenya can be a better place for all its citizens.

Many Kenyans, especially those who don't know the horror of living in a repressive one-party police state, owe him a debt of gratitude.

However, he would destroy his well-earned legacy if he continues working so hard to validate accusations by the Jubilee propaganda machine that he knew he couldn't win all along and was only set on provoking a crisis.

His legitimate pursuit of the presidency must not ignore the simple democratic principle that ultimately it is the majority vote that counts.

And no single-minded determination to clinch the prize should drive Kenya to the edge of the precipice.

Kenya

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