In Summary

  • The electoral body’s written reply was characteristically polite, yet its detailed demolition of Nasa’s premises left no doubt about what the ultimate outcome would be.
  • Losing and then conceding to Uhuru Kenyatta, whose presidential legitimacy Raila has never really come to terms with, would be an unimaginable loss of face.
  • Whereas Jubilee had a superior data-driven ground game, Nasa’s was disjointed and relied on poorly co-ordinated agents at the polling centres.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Nasa’s demand that IEBC officially declare Raila Odinga the 2017 presidential winner was a bizarre ending to a clearly doomed power quest.

The electoral body’s written reply was characteristically polite, yet its detailed demolition of Nasa’s premises left no doubt about what the ultimate outcome would be.

Nasa’s claim that it got Raila’s “winning” numbers from an IEBC server (courtesy of an “insider”) raised a number of untenable questions.

First, a self-declaration of victory is patently illegal under Kenyan law.

Two, the announcement was being made when IEBC together with presidential poll agents were still tabulating Forms 34A and 34B, and hence the final validated tally was unlikely to have been transmitted to IEBC’s database.

Earlier, Nasa had raised the red flag that the IEBC IT system had been hacked – the same system, ironically, it said it generated its own unverified numbers from.

ALLEGATIONS

In the ensuing hours, the document Nasa made public to back its allegations was dismissed by many IT experts as fake.

Meanwhile, the IEBC commissioner in charge of ICT confirmed there was no hacking of its systems.

Personally, I had no illusions about Raila gracefully giving a concession speech. As the minutes ticked by, there was a wrenching debate going on amongst his supporters on whether or not he should concede.

Some sincerely believed he had been robbed and should withhold any concession.

But there was a deeper, underlying sentiment even among the supporters who agreed he had lost fair and square.

A concession to them amounted to an intolerable, humiliating surrender to a Princeling whose family and Raila’s have been bitter political rivals since independence.

UHURU KENYATTA

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