Kenya: Spoilt Votes, Insecure Systems Among Issues in Nasa Petition |

The contention whether or not rejected and spoilt votes should have been factored in, during computation of the 50 per cent plus one threshold for winning a presidential election is yet again expected to feature in the 2017 presidential election petition. In its 14-point relief pleadings, the National Super Alliance (NASA) is seeking to convince the Supreme Court bench to review a precedence set in the 2013 presidential election petition where the court decided that rejected votes ought not to be included in calculating tallies in favour of any candidate. NASA has also lined up a series of affidavits among them those filed by election officials, its presidential agents and technology experts, all poking holes on crucial election processes which the alliance argues compromised the credibility of the August 8 General Election.

Kenya: Opposition outlines vote-rigging case ahead of court battle | Financial Times

Kenya’s opposition has alleged that results from more than a third of polling stations in this month’s presidential election contained “fatal and irredeemable irregularities” as it seeks to overturn President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory. In legal documents filed to the Supreme Court, the National Super Alliance (Nasa) also said the electoral commission “selectively manipulated, engineered and/or deliberately distorted the votes cast” to deny Raila Odinga, the opposition leader, hundreds of thousands of votes. Nasa last week decided to contest the election result in court after Mr Kenyatta won 54 per cent of the vote to Mr Odinga’s 44 per cent, a difference of 1.4m votes. Independent monitors’ parallel tallies recorded a similar result to the electoral commission based on a representative sample of almost 2,000 polling stations. 

Kenya: Opposition leader to challenge election result in court | The Guardian

The Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has said he will go to court over last week’s presidential election results, ignoring calls by some election observers for him to concede defeat to President Uhuru Kenyatta. Twenty-four people have died in violence since the election on 8 August. Odinga’s decision will ease concerns that he may call for demonstrations that could trigger further violence. “We have now decided to move to the supreme court,” the 72-year-old leader of the National Super Alliance (Nasa) coalition told reporters in the capital, Nairobi. “This is just the beginning, we will not accept and move on.”

Kenya: Opposition Leader Says He’ll Expose Election Fraud | The New York Times

The leader of Kenya’s opposition party said Wednesday he would challenge the results of last week’s presidential election in the Supreme Court, not in the hopes of overturning the outcome but as a way to expose evidence of widespread vote-rigging. “Whether the court rules in our favor or rules against us, we don’t really care,” the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, said in an interview after making the announcement in front of supporters and media. “We want this evidence to come out so that people can know how they did it and who did, so they know that it was stolen.” At the same time, he called on Kenyans to seek justice by practicing civil disobedience if the Supreme Court fails to give a fair ruling. “This is about the people of Kenya so that the Kenyans are justified to use civil disobedience means to seek justice if they don’t get it in a court of law,” Mr. Odinga said. “So we will use all constitutional means.”

Kenya: Kenyatta Wins Big in Kenya – But U.S.-Style Election Skullduggery Taints the Results | The Daily Beast

Kenya’s election has come off without major disturbances, and on Friday evening Nairobi time, the nation’s Independent Electoral Board and Boundaries Commission declared a winner in the country’s presidential race. Uhuru Kenyatta, the incumbent, secured 54.2 percent of the vote. All the same, a number of election-cycle oddities go unexplained—including the novel involvement of foreign big-data and PR consultancies who’ve played significant roles in electoral upsets in both the U.S. and U.K. Tuesday, election day, the seafront here in Lamu, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was deserted. Shops and schools were closed. In the town square a long line of men–including red-cloaked Maasai–stood chatting quietly. Women waited in a separate queue, noticeably shorter than the men’s.

Kenya: Odinga delays ‘complex’ decision on vote dispute | The Independent

Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga is expected to announce his strategy Wednesday for contesting his election loss, having further delayed a decision that could defuse or exacerbate tensions in the country. The 72-year-old insists he is the rightful winner of a “stolen” election which took place on August 8 and handed victory to incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta. Speaking at the weekend, Odinga promised to announce his next move on Tuesday. However citing the “complexity and delicate nature” of discussions, his National Super Alliance (NASA) pushed the decision back to Wednesday. The veteran opposition leader has now lost four elections and has also cried foul over results in the previous two.

Kenya: Odinga refuses to accept election defeat, urges strike | AFP

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga on Sunday called for a strike to support his claim to the presidency and accused the ruling party of “spilling the blood of innocent people”, despite growing pressure on him to concede election defeat. The election commission on Friday declared incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta winner of the presidential poll by 1.4 million votes. International observers said Tuesday’s election was largely fair but Odinga disputes the results, saying it was rigged. He has not provided documentary evidence. “Jubilee have spilt the blood of innocent people. Tomorrow there is no work,” Odinga told a crowd of around 4,000 cheering supporters, referring to the ruling party. He promised to announce a new strategy on Tuesday. Senator James Orengo, one of Odinga’s chief supporters, said the opposition would call for demonstrations. “When we people call you to action, peaceful action, don’t stay behind,” Orengo told the crowd in Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum. He also called for a boycott of Nation television and newspapers, Kenya’s largest independent media group, over their coverage of the disputed elections.

Kenya: Flying rocks, teargas and a dead child: the grisly aftermath of the Kenya election | The Guardian

Mid-afternoon, and black smoke trails above the grey tenements. Broken glass, burned tyres, rubble and makeshift barricades block roads. Charred spars mark where a stall once stood, incinerated in confused clashes overnight. Police, armed with batons and assault rifles, cluster around their trucks. Angry men shout slogans and wave fists. The morning has seen much violence: teenagers throwing rocks, police firing teargas. During the night, Mathare, a sprawling slum in Nairobi, has echoed to the sound of gunfire and police helicopters. There have been many casualties, some fatal. Now there is a pause. The police are waiting. So too are the youths they have pursued through the narrow lanes for almost 18 hours – since the Kenyan election commission declared Uhuru Kenyatta, in power since 2013, had won the presidential polls held on Tuesday by a substantial margin.

Kenya: The Drama of Kenya’s Presidential Election | The Atlantic

An electoral system with a spotty record, claims of hacking, the mysterious killing of an election official, and the threat of post-election violence makes this week’s presidential election in Kenya one of the most closely watched in Africa. Adding to the intrigue: The head of the country’s election commission acknowledged Thursday there had been an unsuccessful attempt to hack its database. That acknowledgment came a day after Raila Odinga, a leading presidential candidate, claimed the elections were fixed in favor of the incumbent, President Uhuru Kenyatta. “Hacking was attempted but did not succeed,” said Wafula Chebukati, chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). His remarks have the potential to raise tensions in a country that already has seen five people killed in post-election violence. Although the results are not final, Kenyatta holds a strong lead over Odinga with most of the votes counted at polling stations.

Kenya: Election monitors urge losing candidates to accept poll results | The Guardian

International election observers have called on politicians defeated in Kenya’s fiercely contested polls to concede gracefully without taking their struggle to the streets. The statements by delegations from the EU, the African Union and the US came as opposition groups accused electoral officials of hiding the true results of Tuesday’s elections, which they said showed their leader, Raila Odinga, had won by 300,000 votes. Provisional results released by Kenya’s election commission have put the incumbent president, Uhuru Kenyatta, ahead by 54.2% of votes counted, to 44% for Odinga. A final verified declaration of results based on returns signed by agents from all parties at polling stations and constituencies is expected on Friday.

Kenya: Police arrest IEBC staff over illegal possession of ballot boxes | Daily Nation

The announcement of results for various elective seats in Kilgoris constituency, Narok County, was marred by delays and arrests, which almost crippled the process. Tallying was temporarily halted after a presiding officer, his deputy and a police officer were arrested with ballot papers in a house. Mr George Akumu, the presiding officer for Endoinyo Nkopit polling station and his deputy, Ms Sarah Yiamat Leperon, were seized in Milimani estate in Kilgoris town. Trans Mara West director of criminal investigations David Njogu said the two were in the company of Mr Pius Otieno, an Administration police officer. Mr Njogu said they suspected that the materials were intended to be used to stuff ballot boxes before sending them for tallying.

Kenya: Police and protesters clash after opposition leader’s fraud claims | The Guardian

Protesters and police in Kenya have clashed after the leader of the opposition claimed he was cheated of victory by a hacking attack that he said manipulated the results in the country’s presidential election. Raila Odinga, the leader of the National Super Alliance, said election commission computer systems and databases were tampered with overnight to “create errors” in favour of rival candidate Uhuru Kenyatta, who has been in power since 2013. Odinga urged his supporters to remain calm, but added: “I don’t control the people.” “You can only cheat the people for so long,” he said. “The 2017 general election was a fraud.” With ballots from 96% of polling stations counted, results released by Kenya’s electoral commission show Kenyatta leading with 54.4% of the vote, against Odinga’s 44.8%, a difference of 1.4 million votes. The election is seen as a key test of the stability of one of Africa’s most important countries.

Kenya: Election Returns Were Hacked, Opposition Leader Says | The New York Times

The Kenyan opposition leader, Raila Odinga, threw early results of the country’s presidential election into doubt on Wednesday, claiming that the electoral commission’s servers had been hacked to award the incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta, a significant lead. Given Kenya’s history of postelection violence, Mr. Odinga’s comments renewed fears of deadly unrest, although he asked supporters to remain calm. Rights organizations have also warned of discrepancies in the preliminary results. Protests followed shortly afterward in parts of Kisumu, one of Kenya’s biggest cities and an opposition stronghold. Demonstrators also burned tires, set up roadblocks and clashed with the police in parts of Nairobi, the capital, The Associated Press reported. Earlier, at least one protester was killed by police gunfire in Kisii County, The A.P. said, citing a regional police commander, Leonard Katana.

Kenya: Hacking Allegations, Violence Before Election Results | Associated Press

At least five people have been killed in post-election violence in Kenya after opposition leader Raila Odinga claimed “massive” fraud in Tuesday’s vote. Two people were shot dead in the capital Nairobi on Wednesday, said the city’s police chief Japheth Koome, claiming they took advantage of the protests to steal. At least one more person was shot dead earlier in the day in South Mugirango constituency in Kisii County, around 300km west of Nairobi, during a clash with the security forces, according to Leonard Katana, a regional police commander, the AP news agency reported. In the southeastern Tana River region, police said five men armed with knives had attacked a vote tallying station and stabbed one person to death. “Our officers killed two of them and we are looking for others who escaped,” said regional police chief Larry Kieng.

Kenya: Overeager voters, faulty biometrics and arrests as Kenya Votes | The Daily Vox

Long queues were the order of the day as Kenyans took to the polls Tuesday to vote in a hotly contested national election, pitting current president Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party against former prime minister Raila Odinga’s Nasa party. Voters started queueing as early as 2am, according to Caroline Kantai, presiding officer at Moi Avenue Primary School. Polling centres officially opened at 6am. Some centres opened late due to poor weather conditions, the delayed arrival of voting materials and problems with the Kenya Integrated Elections Management Systems (KIEMS), which verify voters’ biometric information. Kantai said some polling stations had problems verifying biometrics because voters’ fingers were sweaty or oily, or because “the machine just failed for one reason or the other”. In cases like these, polling clerks verified voters’ identities manually, using their identification documents.

Kenya: Opposition leader claims hacking attack cheated him of victory | The Guardian

The leader of Kenya’s opposition has claimed that he was cheated of victory by an overnight hacking attack which manipulated the results in the country’s presidential election. “You can only cheat the people for so long,” Raila Odinga said. “The 2017 general election was a fraud.” With ballots from 94% of polling stations counted, results released by Kenya’s electoral commission showed the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta leading with 54.4% of the nearly 14 million ballots tallied, against Odinga’s 44.8%, a difference of 1.3 million votes. Turnout appears to have been around 75%. Millions of people queued late into the evening on Tuesday to cast their votes in an election seen as a key test of the stability of one of Africa’s most important countries.

Kenya: Kenyans choose next president in fiercely contested vote | Associated Press

Kenyans on Tuesday voted in large numbers an election that pits President Uhuru Kenyatta against challenger Raila Odinga in this East African economic hub known for its relative, long-term stability as well as the ethnic allegiances that shadow its democracy. Voters formed long lines at many polling stations before dawn, waiting for the chance to cast ballots in the tightly contested race for the presidency as well as for more than 1,800 elected positions, including governors, legislative representatives and county officials. A key concern was whether Kenya would echo its 2013 election, a mostly peaceful affair despite opposition allegations of vote-tampering, or the 2007 election, which led to violence fueled by ethnic divisions that killed more than 1,000 people.

Kenya: As elections draw near, country reveals an electorate divided by tribe | The Washington Post

A concrete bridge and a narrow, garbage-filled river divide the slum of Mathare into two parts, a space between ethnic groups and voting blocs that are competing fiercely — and many say dangerously — over Kenya’s presidential elections scheduled for Tuesday. Here in one of the most economically successful and stable countries in East Africa, Mathare is only a few miles away from Nairobi’s rising skyline. Tech firms have popped up on the city’s periphery. Every week, thousands of tourists pile into sleek safari trucks. This spring, the top U.N. humanitarian official here, Siddharth Chatterjee, called Kenya “a beacon of hope in a region mired in fragility.” But with the election approaching, Mathare feels far from stable. On one side of the rutted bridge is a community of ethnic Kikuyus, the tribe of incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta, 55. On the other side are the Luos, the tribe of opposition candidate Raila Odinga, 72. Most days, those tribes peacefully coexist, as the slum is consumed by honking minibuses and a frenzy of commercial activity, with traffic moving across the bridge in both directions. But as the election approaches, it is a line not to be crossed.

Kenya: Opposition say police raid offices, but witnesses deny it | Reuters

A Kenyan opposition spokesman said police raided his alliance’s offices on Friday night, four days before elections – but the government quickly denied any raid had taken place, dismissing the report as “fake news”. Watchmen working at the opposition alliance building in Nairobi also told Reuters there had been no raid – and guards in a building opposite said they had seen no sign of any raid. Kenyans are preparing to vote for a president, lawmakers and local officials on Tuesday in an election already marred by online hoaxes and fake stories from all sides. Kenyan media who initially reported the raid had taken place withdrew stories from websites soon after. Police could not be reached for comment.

Kenya: Threat of another violent vote looms after a decade of injustice | The Independent

Jane keeps the well-worn sarong wrap neatly folded in her home in a Nairobi slum, a memento of a life-altering event a decade ago. She was draped with it after two policemen raped her and left her to rioters the officers had been deployed to stop during deadly post-election violence. “I lost consciousness after the first two civilians raped me. After that, I don’t know how many people did it,” she said. “All this while my 5-year-old daughter was hiding in an empty water container. She hid there when the policemen started breaking into houses and looting.” The 38-year-old tailor says she regained consciousness, with a broken hip and knee, when an elderly neighbour gently dressed her in the sarong. The neighbour “had also been raped by the police as her grown-up son watched and then they ordered him to clean his mother,” Jane said. “I can never forget her compassion.” Kenyans again face the threat of violence as the 8 August presidential election approaches, even as many who survived the deadliest period in the East African country’s history 10 years ago say they still haven’t found justice. 

Kenya: Activists demand justice for murdered election official | Deutsche Welle

Rights activists marched through the streets of Nairobi to protest against the murder of election commission official Christopher Msando just days ahead of the polls. Dozens of Kenyans came together on Tuesday to protest the murder of Christopher Msando, a top election official who was tasked with overseeing the country’s crucial electronic voting system. He was found dead with signs of torture in a forest on the outskirts of Nairobi over the weekend. “We want to ensure that all Kenyans will be able to feel they are secure. Come election day, Kenyans have to be confident when they are going out there to cast their ballot,” said one protester in Nairobi. “As a democratic nation we want to ensure that everyone exercises their civic duty to go out there and vote,” she added.  “The foul murder of Chris Msando is politically instigated,” said another protester marching along the streets of Nairobi.

Kenya: Fake CNN, BBC reports target voters | CNN

A week out from Kenya’s highly-anticipated August 8 election, increasingly fake news reports are circulating on social media platforms in the country. Slickly-produced news bulletins that at first glance appear to be from major international broadcasters including CNN and the BBC have surfaced in recent days. One bogus report cuts from a legitimate CNN Philippines broadcast to a fake voiceover segment which falsely implies that one candidate is leading over the other in a recent poll.

Kenya: Election official ‘tortured and murdered’ as fears of violence grow | The Guardian

Fears of electoral violence in Kenya rose on Monday after colleagues of a senior Kenyan election official who was found dead said he had been tortured and murdered. The body of Chris Msando, the head of information, communication and technology at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the main body overseeing the polls, was found on the outskirts of Nairobi on Saturday but news of his death was released 48 hours later. The corpse of an unidentified woman was also found. The apparent murders come nine days before voters in the east African state will choose a new president, as well as lawmakers and local representatives. Msando, who had a key role developing a new electronic ballot and voter registration systems at the IEBC, had been tortured before he died, election officials said.

Kenya: How Kenyans use tech to stop election fraud | CNN

Kenya’s last two general elections have been tarnished by allegations of fraud and outbreaks of violence, which have divided the nation since. The country is hailed as Africa’s Silicon Savannah and when citizens head to the polls again on August 8, they will be using technology to make sure these elections are free and credible. A game-changing court ruling recently declared that results announced by constituency tallying centers must be regarded as final and a transparent system to transmit results has been created to prevent rigging. As a result, an officer at each polling station will transmit real-time numbers electronically through a secure mobile phone.

Kenya: How Kenya will announce presidential election results | The Star Kenya

The IEBC has outlined the votes tallying process right from polling stations to the final announcement of presidential results. Jubilee Party leader Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA principal Raila Odinga are the main opponents in the elections that is 12 days away. After results are tallied and announced at polling stations, chairman Wafula Chebukati said, Presiding Officers will type them, as captured in Form 34A, into KIEMS tablets. The POs will then scan the forms using the tablet and confirm that the typed results and those on the scanned form are accurate. They will then transmit the results electronically to the constituency tallying centre and the national tallying centre at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi. Form 34A will then be made available on the IEBC’s online portal, Chebukati said in a statement to the media on Wednesday.

Kenya: Electoral Boundaries Commission Assures Back-Up System Tamper Proof, Warns Rogue Poll Officials |

Voters whose biometric data will not be detected on the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (KIEMS) will have their registration documents scanned before being allowed to vote. The scanning capability of the KIEMS devices will according to Commissioner Roselyn Akombe provide a complementary mechanism for voter identification in a bid to eliminate irregularities where biometric identification fails. However, those identified using a complementary mechanism will have to fill a Form 32 which will be used to validate them in the voter turnout count.

Kenya: As Kenya prepares for election, the spectre of violence looms | The Irish Times

Fears of a renewal of the intertribal violence that marred the aftermath of Kenya’s 2007 presidential election have surfaced ahead of the country’s general election next month. The anxiety is not obvious upon first meeting residents of the communities concerned. But ask them to recount their personal experience of the east African country’s disputed election in December 2007 and concerns over the August 8th poll quickly come to the fore. …According to international investigations, most of that ethnic violence, which left 1,300 people dead nationwide, was orchestrated by politicians and business people who felt aggrieved about the election’s outcome. Afterwards Kenya’s current president, Uhuru Kenyatta, and his political rival at the time, William Ruto, were charged by the International Criminal Court with inciting their respective Kikuyu and Kalenjin tribes to carry out atrocities. The prosecutions were later abandoned, however.

Kenya: Court overturns ruling on presidential ballot contract | AFP

Kenya’s appeals court on Thursday quashed a ruling cancelling a contract to print presidential ballot papers, a victory for the electoral commission less than three weeks before general elections. The decision comes two weeks after the high court ordered the electoral commission to start a tender process from scratch, arguing a lack of transparency in the awarding of the printing contract to a Dubai-based firm. The pending court case raised tensions in the lead-up to what is set to be a close battle between incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga on August 8, with observers on high alert for possible violence. However, the five-judge bench at the appeals court quashed the ruling.

Kenya: Elections will cost $1 billion in government and campaign spend | Quartz

Kenya is set to hold its most expensive election ever. It’s expected to top $1 billon in aggregate spend and could be Africa’s most expensive on a cost-per-voter basis. The public and private spending are both at an all-time high, with both the government and candidates spending hundreds of millions of dollars to secure the electoral process or campaigning to get elected. In a new pre-election economic and fiscal report released before the Aug. 8 polls, Kenya’s national treasury said the preparation and execution of the election will cost 49.9 billion shillings ($480 million). The largest allotment in the budget goes to the electoral commission, which is using almost 43 billion shillings ($413.2 million) to hire personnel, procure election materials, conduct voter education exercises, besides collecting and transmitting results.