Kenya's Vote -- IEBC, the Election Commission, Must Do The Right Thing

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Kenya's top election officials: IEBC Vice Chair Consolata Maina; Chair Wafula W. Chebukati; and, CEO Ezra Chiloba.

Kenyans are commended for the largely peaceful voting yesterday. No sensible person wants to see in Kenya a repeat of the carnage that claimed over 1,300 lives, displaced more than half a million, and almost tore the country apart in 2007 -2008 following disputed elections.

Today there is some simmering tension. Following yesterday's general election, opposition leader Raila Odinga who ran against the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta in the presidential vote, claimed the IT system used to transmit results to the central talling center from the more than 40,000 polling stations was hacked and that "fictitious" figures were published on the election commission's website. Odinga claimed that an algorithm was used to distort the transmitted returns after the hacking.

Odinga today tweeted "We Got Them" and a link to his Facebook page showing photos of computer logs he claims proves the hacking allegations.

Ezra Chiloba, CEO of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) which organizes and manages Kenya's election, claims the system wasn't compromised. "There were no external or internal interferences to the system at any point before, during or after the voting," Chiloba said at a news conference.

The serious charges must be investigated. Many Kenyans were already understandably concerned and fearful after the IT manager Chris Msando was found murdered two weeks ago, shortly before the election. His body had signs of a person who had been tortured according to media reports. Odinga claims Msando's credentials were used by the hackers.

Odinga also called the figures that appeared on the IEBC's website "illegal" since they were not accompanied by a document called Form 34A. This document, signed by an election official at the polling station and by representatives of the contesting political parties certifies that the results being transmitted electronically from each polling station matches the ones on the hard copy.

By this afternoon, the figures transmitted without the accompanying forms and posted on the IEBC's website credited Uhuru Kenyatta with 8,009,175 or 54.3% of the votes to Raila Odinga's 6,608,405 or 44.8%, with 97% of stations accounted for.

Odinga said, "What the IEBC has posted as result of the Presidential Elections is a complete fraud based on a multiplier that fraudulently gave Uhuru Kenyatta votes that were not cast."

Odinga claims his NASA political allliance's final tally shows him winning 8,452,134 votes to Kenyatta's 7,846,528.

The IEBC officials have held news briefings. The IEBC has agreed not to announce an official election result until all the form 34A's from the individual polling stations are received in the central talling center. The IEBC has invited representatives from the political parties that contested the election to be at the talling station when the forms 34A arrive. The IEBC said the figures on the forms 34A will prevail in case of any discrepancies with those posted, according to a report in The Daily Nation.

The IEBC must continue to reassure Kenyans that credible official results will be announced only after the serious allegations, including of the IT system's hacking, are reviewed and that the posted figures are reconciled with the form 34As. There must be no rush to official announcement without a review given what's at stake.

Kenyans have already impressed the world by lining up patiently to vote in their millions. They demonstrated to the entire world that Africans, when given the opportunity, want to freely elect the people who help guide their destiny in an orderly manner.

Now all eyes are on the IEBC to do the right thing.

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