NASA picks foreign expert to guard against rigging

Ghanaian technocrat Nana Busia. (Photo: Courtesy)

With only 22 days to the August 8 elections, the NASA is racing against time to implement its Sh450 million adopt-a-polling station programme —one of its strategies against Jubilee.

The opposition alliance has already flown in a Ghanaian technocrat behind the “adopt-a-polling station” strategy in his country, Nana Busia, and is now recruiting and training 220,000 polling agents who will be deployed in all the 44,000 polling station spread across the country. NASA plans to send five volunteers per polling station.

The NASA presidential candidate, Raila Oginga believes the adopt-a-polling station strategy will help prevent electoral malpractices at polling stations and boost voter turnout in friendly counties.

Mr Busia, credited with employing the same strategy during Ghana’s presidential elections last year won by Nana Akufo Ado, met senior NASA officials in Kisumu on Friday night at a fund  raising dinner to support the initiative.

He is expected to train the poll agents, a strategy the opposition leaders believe will safeguard their votes against any ‘possible rigging’ at the polling stations.

The Ghananian took the guests at the funds drive through the adopt-a-polling station system, saying it worked for President Ado and would also work in Kenya if well implemented.

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“It will help in mobilising people to vote and watching against vote rigging,” he said. Busia noted that Kenya and Ghana shared electoral transition similarities, and that is why he had accepted to come and help NASA.  “We will heavily borrow from the Ghana success,” he said.

“Kenyans like Ghanaians did want to ensure a free credible, transparent elections that is reflective of the will of people. This is why the adopt-a-polling-station strategy is critical to safeguard your votes,’’ Busia said

He described Raila as an African Pillar who despite being a Kenyan was enjoying massive and wide African and global support having stood firm as an ardent champion of human rights and good governance.

Busia told Kenyans that it was up to them to think and make the right and informed choices of the leaders who had demonstrated self-respect and respecting others regardless of ethnic differences, treating others with dignity, empathy and compassion and the ability to earn the respect of others.

“I want to say that for the rest of Africa, Raila is a man of fine sterling mission and vision. In Ivory Coast some locals referred to him at a function I attended on democracy as a virus that cannot be conquered,” he said.

Raila is upbeat about the adopt-a-polling station strategy and is urging NASA supporters to volunteer and join the initiative. “I call upon all Kenyans of goodwill yearning for change and supporting our liberation movement to do their part and volunteer at their local polling stations,” he said on his official Facebook page.

He added: “Take it upon yourself not just to vote and to ensure all your eligible neighbours vote as well, but also ensure that your do everything possible to ensure the transparent counting and tallying of votes in your polling station.”

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Nominated Senator Dr Oburu Odinga said the funds drive would raise money   to pay agents and polls officials.  He thanked guests for turning out in large numbers to support the campaign strategy. “This is not conning, it is real,” he said.

Present at the function were Nyanza NASA presidential campaign secretariat coordinators Oburu Odinga, Bob Madanji, Woman Representative Gladys Wanga and Kisumu Deputy Governor and Nyanza regional adopt-a-polling station coordinator Ruth Odinga.

Others present were MPs Fred Outa (Nyando), Seme MP James Nyikal, Mathews Owili and a host of local leaders and businessmen.

The Sunday Standard established that the adopt-a-polling station team has appointed all the regional coordinators in 47 counties who will be superintended by Busia as the National Coordinator.

Some former and current legislators and party officials will coordinate the programme.

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