Nasa questions IEBC’s preparedness for election

The opposition coalition has questioned the electoral commission’s preparedness for the General Election.

Nasa pointed out the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s failure to fulfil the requirements of the law regarding the testing of equipment, the security of its systems and the voter register.

In a seven-point letter to the commission’s chairman Wafula Chebukati, Nasa CEO Norman Magaya asked the team to clarify when the system it intends to use in the election will be tested. The letter could add to the pressure on the commission from the Nasa camp.

It came a day after Orange Democratic Movement presidential candidate Raila Odinga announced his intention to sue the commission over the award of the contract for printing of ballot papers.

‘DEMO PRESENTATION’

“The testing that the commission undertook on the 9th June was nothing but a demo presentation, therefore, does not in any way satisfy the standards contemplated both under the Act and the attendant regulations,” said Mr Magaya. He asked the team to state when all the 45,000 kits in the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System would be fully tested.

The commission, however, said when it demonstrated the use of the system that the equipment would go through six different tests and that Nasa was jumping the gun in making the inquiries.

The system’s procurement had to be single-sourced to Safran Morpho after numerous challenges to the award of the tender threatened to interfere with the timelines.

Citing the requirement in the law for the commission to carry out an audit of its systems, Mr Magaya asked Mr Chebukati to assure Nasa that the audit has been done and there is a report detailing the security access to the system, its vulnerability and the accuracy and completeness of the data. “It is our view that such a systems audit report is a public document,” he said.

IN WRITING

Insiders at the commission say since some of the issues raised concern technology security, Nasa could get their responses in writing or a meeting to demonstrate how their systems will work.

“It is unlikely, and unwise,” said a source at the commission, “that the electoral body would go public on systems and software they have deployed to secure their infrastructure.”

Mr Magaya also asked the commission whether it has a plan for the recovery of data in case something unexpected happens. Nasa also asked for a copy of the audit of the voter register.

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