NASA leaders Kalonzo Musyoka (left) and Raila Odinga. (Photo: Jonah Onyango/Standard)
Opposition leaders have demanded that Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) demonstrates its readiness to conduct the August 8 polls.
National Super Alliance (NASA) leaders Raila Odinga (ODM), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Musalia Mudavadi (ANC) said they were keen to ensure that key electoral infrastructure as envisaged in the Election Laws Amendment is put in place before the elections.
The Opposition leaders maintained that they are ready for the August polls but questioned IEBC’s level of preparedness.
“NASA is ready for elections even today but we will not allow Kangaroo-like elections. This is not just an election, it is the right of Kenyans to have a credible exercise,” said Odinga.
He said IEBC has remained silent on critical issues they have raised with it in recent weeks regarding its preparedness to conduct free, fair and credible elections in five months’ time.
In a statement read by Mudavadi, the Opposition complained that the commission’s actions have remained shrouded in secrecy and opacity, contrary to the provisions of the law.
The Opposition leaders said they had raised concerns about the supply, delivery, installation, testing, commissioning and support of the Kenya Integrated Election Management Systems (KIEMS) which the commission cancelled on Tuesday.
“IEBC has not procured, let alone put in place, the technology necessary for the conduct of the elections on August 8. How does IEBC intend to make up for these lapses?” questioned Mudavadi.
The leaders argued that two major components of KIEMS -the Electronic Voter Identification Device (EVID) and equipment for electronic transmission of election results were not in place.
According to Raila, Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits were not enough and systems have not been integrated with just five months to go before the polls.
Mudavadi stressed that the commission is required to consult with political parties and other stakeholders in testing and certification of the entire electoral system.
The leaders want all election players to be involved in testing the mechanisms for the conduct of a system audit, data storage and information security, data retention and disposal, access to electoral system software and source codes.
It also wants all parties involved in capacity building of staff of the commission and relevant stakeholders on the use of technology and the electoral process.
In addition the commission is mandated to have telecommunication networks for voter identification and result transmission, develop, publicise and implement a disaster recovery and operations continuity plan. It is also supposed to set up a technical committee.
“The activities of the commission have remained shrouded in secrecy and opacity, contrary to the provisions of the law,” said Mudavadi in a statement.
“As things stand today, IEBC has not made any attempts to get accurate and comprehensive information contained in the national population register for the purposes of an audit of the voter register. It would appear nothing has changed since the Kriegler Report,” he added.
Odinga said they had demonstrated how the National Youth Service (NYS) recruits were registered as new voters and how their names found their way to the IEBC database.
“We gave them a list and even forwarded to them its soft copy. The list is not just tens of thousands but hundreds of thousands,” said Odinga.
He added: “With a contaminated and polluted register which has not been subjected to statutory audit, the 2017 elections stand legally compromised even before they are held.”
The Opposition has also sought answers on software licenses in use at the Commission and the validity period, saying they had information that the licenses had not been renewed and were invalid.
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“We seek to know the identity of the vendor. The commission must disclose the existing contracts with the original equipment manufacturers to ascertain the status of the servers, the number of servers that are operational and the contractors supporting and maintaining the equipment,” said Mudavadi.
They also put the electoral agency to task to exhibit the applications and database each server is utilising and an explanation of the function of each application.
And now, the Opposition is demanding an audit of any connections to external internet interfaces and show what is connected from external operators such as Domain Name System (DNS) servers and the short message service (SMS), staging servers that are used for verification of registration.
It also wants to be told what other bodies are connected to the infrastructure for purposes of transferring data as well as importing data to and from other agencies such as the National Intelligence Service (NIS), National Registration Bureau and the Immigration Department.