In Summary

  • Ezra Chiloba, the commission secretary and chief executive officer of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, says elections are going to be held as planned and the agency is overcoming many hurdles to ensure the process is free, fair and credible.
  • He spoke to the Nation.

Ezra Chiloba, the commission secretary and chief executive officer of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, says elections are going to be held as planned and the agency is overcoming many hurdles to ensure the process is free, fair and credible. He spoke to the Nation.

With just three weeks to go to the polls, how is IEBC dealing with the pressure to deliver a credible election?

Given the historical context of elections in Kenya, we have no choice but to deliver a credible electoral process. For me, it is a journey that we started two years ago, starting with a new strategy and election operations plan. The remaining three weeks are all about tightening the nuts and bolts of the process. This includes finalising the logistics plans that will ensure that the correct election material is delivered at the correct place and at the correct time; completing the configuration, testing and re-testing of the 45,000 KIEMS (Kenya Integrated Election Management System) kits to be used in the election; ensuring that biometric voter identification is the primary mode of identification on polling day; training the 360,000 election officials on polling day operations; clarifying voting procedures affected by court orders; improving infrastructure for network coverage for purposes of results transmission; enhancing public engagement and voter education campaigns; among others.

What kind of things are giving you sleepless nights in the run-up to the August 8 date?

Well, the possibility that we may run a flawless election operation but still leave the country on the edge. It is no secret that we have deep-seated mistrust for institutions in our country and as such common sense solutions to our social-political problems are no longer common sense. We endeavour to fulfil our duty of delivering a credible electoral process despite these challenges.

I would want to believe there are a lot of activities at the secretariat as the date draws near. In your estimation, how many meetings do you have on any given day?

Indeed, we have lots of consultations at different levels within the organisation, and particularly now when we have to make critical decisions on critical issues. The idea is to also ensure that we are all on the same page to deliver a credible election. We are also holding a lot of consultative meetings with stakeholders just to allay some of their concerns. On average, you find that I am in four to six engagements in a day – both internal and external.

How long on average do the meetings last?

It all depends on the sensitivity or criticality of the issue at hand. Some meetings are as brief as 10 minutes while others could last more than three hours.

When do you get time to be with your family and friends?

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