In Summary

  • The vote counting and tallying had been going for about six hours and the early results consistently had President Kenyatta in the lead.

  • Mr Odinga argued that the results being relayed were, in fact, the brainchild of hackers.

I have formed the impression that when it comes to vote counting and tallying, two documents known as Form 34A and Form 34B are to an election what the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR) are to a flight when something goes wrong and has to be investigated and analysed and safeguards against recurrence installed.

Come with me. In the wee hours of Wednesday, Mr Raila Odinga rejected the presidential poll results the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was releasing electronically.

The National Super Alliance (Nasa) torchbearer argued that the results were not authentic because they were not accompanied by Forms 34A and 34B.

VOTE TALLYING

The vote counting and tallying had been going for about six hours and the early results consistently had President Kenyatta in the lead.

Mr Odinga argued that the results being relayed were, in fact, the brainchild of hackers who had accessed, and were manipulating, IEBC’s electronic transmission system.

Post-poll tension in Kenya went a notch higher.

On Thursday at a news conference, Nasa chiefs significantly raised the stakes.

They declared that per their confidential source in IEBC, Mr Odinga had, in fact, won the presidential election. And then Mr Musalia Mudavadi, Nasa’s campaign chief, put the boot in.

He demanded IEBC declares Mr Odinga duly elected president. The tension climbed another notch upwards.

CHEBUKATI

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati was at great pains to maintain exterior calmness in the face of the obvious suggestion that the polls umpire was not in control of its own processes and apparatuses.

And, naturally, he also shouldered the onus of assuring nervous Kenyans and local and global interests that he was running a credible General Election.

Mr Chebukati said Nasa’s figures were incorrect and its declaration of Mr Odinga’s triumph premature. Why? Because of the self-same reason Nasa had declared the early results inauthentic — the unavailability of Forms 34A and 34B.

Just as Nasa had wanted these forms to accompany the early tallies, so also did IEBC demand these documents from the coalition.

Earlier IEBC had declared that it could not announce presidential poll results until it had these forms from all the 290 constituency polling centres.

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