By Dickens Olewe
BBC News, Nairobi
A bungled canvass and the gruesome execution of a elder authoritative successful complaint of voting exertion successful 2017 inactive haunts Kenya, up of the elections adjacent week.
The president of the autarkic electoral committee has repeatedly sought to reassure a sceptical nationalist that his squad tin present a credible vote, but helium has besides been informing astir a co-ordinated campaign, particularly connected societal media, to malign and intimidate his workers.
"Our unit successful the commission, particularly [those in] ICT are present frightened… I conscionable privation to impulse the radical down it to halt what they are doing," Wafula Chebukati told journalists.
He has valid reasons to beryllium worried: 5 years agone his past caput of technology, Chris Msando, was kidnapped and brutally murdered, on with his person 21-year-old Carol Ngumbu.
Their bodies were recovered successful bushes connected the outskirts of the capital, Nairobi - and no-one has been arrested oregon charged for the killings which stay shrouded successful mystery.
"Surely with a nonrecreational constabulary work and a nonrecreational and effectual authorities we would person immoderate closure connected this matter… The federation does not cognize who took the beingness of an elections authoritative who was handling a precise delicate portion of the elections," Amnesty International Kenya's Executive Director Irũngũ Houghton told a section TV presumption recently.
With a affable and calm manner, Mr Msando had been a regular connected section TV stations, demonstrating the measures helium had taken to guarantee the predetermination was not rigged.
"Dead voters volition not emergence connected my watch," helium said successful 1 interview.
He had enactment his assurance successful biometric information to verify voters utilizing fingerprints and an physics strategy to transmit the results.
The usage of specified exertion was adopted pursuing the fallout of the 2007 polls erstwhile accusations of ballot stuffing triggered weeks of unit successful which astatine slightest 1,200 radical were killed and immoderate 600,000 fled their homes. At the clip the past electoral committee president adjacent admitted helium was not definite who had won.
This predetermination looks similar it excessively volition beryllium a choky statesmanlike contention - betwixt frontrunners Raila Odinga, a long-serving absorption person who is moving for president for a 5th time, and Deputy President William Ruto.
'Technology is not democracy'
Making things much dramatic, outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta is rooting for Mr Odinga, a nemesis-turned-ally, to win him pursuing a breakdown of his narration with Mr Ruto.
Voters volition besides beryllium choosing governors, senators, MPs and region assembly members.
Yet the expanding usage of exertion successful the 3 polls since 2007 has not delivered credibility - and successful 2017 it led to the Supreme Court overturning the ballot and ordering a caller election.
"Despite the failures successful 2013, much tech was procured successful 2017. The outgo of the predetermination jumped from $10 [£8] per registered elector successful the archetypal predetermination to $25 successful the rerun, earning Kenya the dubious honour of holding the astir costly elections successful Africa," Nanjira Sambuli, a exertion and governance analyst, told the BBC.
"Technology is not democracy, " Ms Sambuli said.
The Supreme Court ruled the August 2017 ballot "invalid, null and void" arsenic immoderate 10,000 polling stations failed to transmit the votes.
"This was a important number, positive the electoral committee gave excuses erstwhile they were asked to unfastened machine servers for a reappraisal of what happened," law lawyer James Mamboleo told the BBC.
"They said the committee indispensable beryllium accountable to the radical successful each processes from elector registration to an effectual transmission system."
The ruling dented assurance successful Mr Chebukati, but helium managed to enactment successful the occupation contempt relentless unit for him to resign.
This clip circular the committee volition reuse tens of thousands of predetermination elector verification kits bought for the October 2017 rerun and has tightened up its procedures.
The electoral committee had planned to exclusively usage the physics strategy to place voters, but a last-minute tribunal judgement has ruled that a carnal printed registry should besides beryllium disposable successful lawsuit the biometric strategy fails.
Results volition beryllium sent digitally from much than 50,000 polling stations alternatively of a substance message, which was the method antecedently used.
This is however it volition enactment for the statesmanlike ballot:
- All voters volition person to beryllium verified utilizing either a fingerprint oregon an individuality card
- After polls close, an representation of the results form, signed by the presiding serviceman and enactment agents, volition beryllium electronically transmitted utilizing the integrated voting kit to the tallying centres astatine the constituency and nationalist levels
- A transcript of the signifier volition beryllium fixed to enactment agents and posted extracurricular of the polling station
- Voter verification kits volition beryllium geo-locked to idiosyncratic polling stations to forestall fraud
- The victor volition lone beryllium announced aft the carnal results signifier is received by the committee to verify it against the photograph initially sent.
"We are going to marque it precise hard successful this predetermination for radical to spell to tribunal to situation the results that we have, due to the fact that we are truthful transparent that adjacent if they privation to spell to court, they would beryllium precise embarrassed to bash so," 1 of the electoral commissioners, Justus Nyangaya, told the BBC.
He besides said that the elector recognition kit would beryllium sending accusation to the nationalist tallying centre each 2 hours, which helium says volition scupper attempts to worldly ballot boxes.
Still tormented by the past election, the electoral committee president has besides urged the media, governmental parties and civilian societies to bash their ain tallying of votes.
"Chebukati is intent connected making amends by taking afloat work arsenic the chair, and instituting a strategy that volition warrant a free, fair, transparent and verifiable elections to exonerate himself from the bequest of the president known for bungled elections," governmental expert Hesbon Owila told the BBC.
"As an idiosyncratic helium has learnt from the past, but arsenic Kenyans, we can... besides beryllium vigilant."
Mr Mamboleo agrees: "Has the electoral committee tried to unrecorded up to the precocious standards acceptable by that 2017 Supreme Court ruling? In my view, it's yes. They person engaged governmental parties, candidates, and the nationalist successful ways we haven't seen successful past elections."
A telephone for justice
By law, the electoral committee has 7 days aft the ballot to state the winners - and by encouraging the media and others to tally results Mr Chebukati hopes the transparency volition vindicate him and the commission.
It would surely beryllium an important milestone for Kenya if this was achieved.
As Mr Msando and Ms Ngumbu's families marked the 5th day of their murders past month, they again said Kenya's ideology should beryllium anchored successful the regularisation of instrumentality - and hoped 1 time they excessively volition get justice.
"We commune that 1 time we get to cognize the truth," Mr Msando's household wrote successful an obituary successful 1 of the section papers.
Who is successful the contention to tally Kenya?
Learn much astir Kenya’s statesmanlike candidates
Choose a campaigner to presumption their bio
Raila Amollo Odinga
Azimio la Umoja Coalition
- Age: 77
- Nicknamed “Baba”
- Son of erstwhile vice-president
- Trained arsenic an technologist successful what was past East Germany
- Prime curate from 2008 to 2013 successful the unity authorities created aft post-election violence
- Formed confederation with ex-political force President Uhuru Kenyatta
- Four-time unsuccessful statesmanlike candidate
- Championed multiparty ideology successful the one-party era.
- Detained doubly (1982-88 and 1989-91) arsenic a governmental prisoner.
- Seen arsenic a formidable campaigner capable to gully ample crowds.
- Achieve double-digit economical maturation done concern successful tiny concern and manufacturing sector.
- Provide affordable prime healthcare for all.
- Disburse $50 (£42) a period to 2 cardinal needy households.
William Samoei Ruto
Kenya Kwanza Alliance
- Age: 55
- Worked arsenic a thoroughfare trader arsenic a teenager.
- Has a PhD successful works ecology from the University of Nairobi.
- Served arsenic lawman president since 2013 but fell retired with brag President Uhuru Kenyatta.
- One of Kenya’s biggest maize farmers.
- Charged by the International Criminal Court implicit post-election unit – charges aboriginal dropped.
- Portrays himself arsenic champion of the downtrodden.
- Coined operation “hustler nation”
- Owns immense parcels of onshore but the root of his wealthiness is simply a taxable of speculation.
- Praised arsenic an effectual agriculture curate from 2008-2010.
- Seen arsenic a almighty orator and robust media interviewee
- Give each Kenyans subsidised wellness security screen and a interest waiver for mediocre households.
- Allocate $420m annually to enactment tiny and medium-sized enterprises.
- Appoint a gender-balanced cabinet.
- Age: 63
- Holds a masters successful planetary improvement instrumentality from the UK’s University of Warwick.
- Says helium has 17 assemblage degrees
- Worked successful constabulary quality earlier helium fled the state successful 1990 to flight from torture
- Gained notoriety with eye-catching policies
- Lived connected the streets of the superior arsenic a kid and was rescued by Hare Krishna worshippers
- Partner successful a instrumentality steadfast helium established successful 2018
- Campaigns wearing a tracksuit, T-shirt and headscarf alternatively than a astute suit
- Legalise the farming and accumulation of marijuana for concern and aesculapian use
- Switch to a four-day moving week from Monday to Thursday
- Invest successful snake farming to extract the venom which tin beryllium exported
David Mwaure Waihiga
- Age: 65
- Practised instrumentality for much than 3 decades
- Also an ordained reverend
- Previously ran for MP, legislator and region politician – losing each time
- Founded Agano Party successful 2006
- Says helium brings a “breath of caller air” to the apical of politics
- First expressed an involvement successful moving for president successful 2013
- Set up an plus betterment bureau nether the presidency to retrieve stolen funds
- Slash income taxation by fractional and get escaped of it altogether for medics and police
- Give incentives to manufacturers and entrepreneurs to make jobs