Giant telecoms provider Safaricom’s SIM cards will be installed in each of the 45,000 results transmission kits in a bid to improve the process, which will now only relay the scanned and signed result forms.
Since the August 8 presidential election was annulled based on the fact that text results arrived at the national and constituency tallying centres before the scanned Forms 34A for the polling stations, and Forms 34B for the constituency results, the electoral agency is seeking to exploit the wide Safaricom coverage to improve the process.
In areas where Telkom and Airtel Kenya are the primary service providers, the commission will have a Safaricom SIM card as backup, the agency has ruled.
While Safaricom will be the primary results transmission service provider in 22 counties in North Eastern, Eastern and the South and North Rift Valley, Airtel will be manning 14 counties in the Coast, Central and parts of Nyanza.
Telkom Kenya, on the other hand, will provide the service in 11 counties in western, parts of Nyanza, and central Rift Valley.
“Safaricom will also provide a secondary SIM card for all the Kiems kits as a fallback position in case the primary network assigned by IEBC fails,” says a briefing by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
The IEBC has reconfigured the 45,000 kits — 40,883 for each of Kenya’s polling stations and three to act as backups in each of the 1,450 wards — for Thursday’s poll.
Airtel will run as the primary provider in 14 zones — Lamu, Tana River, Kilifi, Mombasa, Kwale, Taita-Taveta, Nyeri, Murang’a, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Nyamira, Kisii, Homa Bay, and Migori.
Telkom will be the primary provider in 11 counties, namely, Nairobi, Vihiga, Busia, Siaya, Kisumu, Nandi, Kakamega, Bungoma, Nyandarua, Laikipia, and Nakuru.
Apart from being in every results transmission kit, Safaricom will be the primary provider in 22 zones — Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Meru, Tharaka-Nithi, Embu, Kitui, Makueni and Machakos.
Safaricom will also be working in Turkana, West Pokot, Samburu, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Kajiado, Kericho and Bomet.
Besides addressing the network issues in the results transmission, the IEBC has also ruled to have a live real-time feed of the entry of the results at the constituency level.
Further, the constituency returning officer will be required to provide draft results declaration forms to candidates’ agents before printing and signing the original one.
In a 10-point correction plan, the IEBC has also standardised all its results declaration forms, and has provide the coordinates of all polling stations, with a clear provision of a results path and a gazetted complementary mechanism to be followed should the kits fail to send results at the gazetted polling stations.
BOMAS OF KENYA
On Tuesday, the IEBC was in its final phase of preparing the Bomas of Kenya to serve as the national tallying centre.
The IEBC has improved on the security features, with new doors brought in to secure a room at the auditorium where Chairman Wafula Chebukati used to meet with commissioners as the elections progressed.
Yesterday, a 60-member call centre team was in its final phase of reaching out to constituency returning officers to ensure that they had received all polling materials, a day to the fresh election.