The three-day National Elections Conference closes today with high-level discussions on electoral integrity, security, role of the media and how technology will be used in the August 8 polls.
The conference at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) has brought together the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and various civil society groups who seek to audit Kenya’s preparedness to hold what has been billed as Kenya’s most competitive poll.
There are 54 days remaining before Kenyans go to the polls.
Today, the conference will start with a discussion on fostering electoral integrity and mitigating electoral fraud, a panel discussion that will be moderated by Njonjo Mue, the chairperson of the Africa Centre for Open Governance.
The panel will start with a brief overview by EACC Chief Executive Halakhe Waqo with the session’s objective being to examine measures put in place to ensure electoral integrity.
The panellists in the discussion are Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko, National Cohesion and Integration Commission Chairman Francis ole Kaparo, Mr Waqo, and IEBC Commissioner Margaret Mwachanya.
Others are Ms Regina Opondo of the Elections Observation Group, Dr Luis Franceschi, Dean, School of Law at Strathmore University, and Bishop Philip Anyolo, the chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Ms Wanjiru Gikonyo of the Institute of Social Accountability will then, at 10am, moderate a session on “Role of technology in elections” with a brief overview of the IEBC’s plans by Commissioner Abdi Guliye.
The panellists of the session will be Prof Guliye, Preston Odera of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, and Mr Francis Wangusi, the Director General of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet will then give an overview of his office’s plan for the elections security in a session that will be moderated by security expert Simiyu Werunga.
Other panellists will be IEBC Commissioner Boya Molu, Independent Policing Oversight Authority Chairman Macharia Njeru, and Ms Kagwiria Mbogori of the Kenya National Human Rights Commission.
Mr Peter Kiama, the Executive Director of the Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU) will also sit in the panel.
ROLE OF MEDIA
The last session for the day before the closing ceremonies will look at the role of the media in elections, a critical part of the process.
The session, to be moderated by Dr Nancy Booker of the Aga Khan University, will seek to identify ways to enhance balanced, gender responsive, and conflict sensitive coverage of the 2017 elections.
Dr Booker will be joined in the panel by IEBC Vice-Chairperson Connie Nkatha, Mr Charles Kerich, the chairman of the Media Council of Kenya, Dr Hanningtone Gaya who chairs the Media Owners Association, Pamela Mburia of the Association of Women in Media in Kenya, and Mr Kennedy Kachwanya of the Blogger Association of Kenya.
The conference will be closed in the afternoon by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, with speeches from IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati and Chief Executive Ezra Chiloba.