In Summary
  • Whatever the response that may be given, one side of the political divide is bound to discard it, while the other may readily accept it.
  • All pertinent technology queries in Mr Chebukati's memo to Mr Chiloba would have found objective resolutions from a single sitting of  the ETAC. 
  • It's high time someone went back to court and appealed the decision of the High Court so that we can solve our technology problems in a sober manner.

The recent, widely circulated 12-point memo from the Chair of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Mr Wafula Chebukati to his CEO, Mr Ezra Chiloba got me wondering about some critical committee that was provided for by the Elections Amendment Act No 36 of 2016. It amends the Elections Act , 2011 Section 44, paragraph (5) to read in part:

‘The Commission shall, for purposes of this section and in consultation with relevant agencies, institutions and stakeholders, including political parties, make regulations for the implementation of this section and in particular, regulations providing for

(a) the transparent acquisition and disposal of information and communication technology assets and systems;

(b) testing and certification of the system;

(c) mechanisms for the conduct of a system audit;

and so on.

This section, through the Elections Technology Regulations of 2017, gave birth to the formation of the Elections Technology Advisory Committee (ETAC), with membership included technical personnel from political parties, ICT professional bodies and other stakeholders.

TESTING AND CERTIFICATION

ETAC was chaired by the IEBC Commissioner in charge of ICT, with the IEBC Director as the Secretary. Its mandate is defined under part XI of the Elections Technology Regulations of 2017, which states in Section 32 paragraph 2:

‘The Committee shall—

(a) regularly engage with stakeholders in order to sensitise them on the progress of adoption and use of election technology in the electoral process, and

(b) receive regular updates on the status of election technology

Page 1 of 2