Exhaustion marks week of IEBC officers

Friday August 11 2017

An IEBC official takes a nap at Molo Secondary School tallying station

An IEBC official takes a nap at Molo Secondary School tallying station next to ballot boxes on August 9, 2017. PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By PETER MBURU
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Election officials endured long, grueling hours amid high expectations from Kenyan voters for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to deliver a free, fair and credible election.

Since Monday, August 7, when they started getting ready for the election, officials have worked round the clock during counting and delivering of results.

POLLING STATION

Once voting was completed on Tuesday and counting done at respective stations, they were to travel to constituency tallying centres where they would queue to deliver their results.

Many were completely fatigued. In some areas, unable to endure any more, some abandoned their poll material unattended while others dozed off at polling stations.

In Nyandarua, the county IEBC director, Mr Gideon Balang, postponed the announcement of county results to Friday, saying his officers were fatigued and could not go on.

OVERWORK

Addressing the press on Thursday evening, he said his officers could not work past 6pm.

By around 5pm, Mr Balang had not received results from three constituencies: Kinangop, Kipipiri and Ol Kalou.

"I cannot overwork my staff. These people have been here since day one, they also need some rest," he stated. 

PRESIDING OFFICER

In Subukia, Nakuru County, frustrated presiding officers left the tallying centre and went to sleep, leaving their ballot boxes in queues under the watch of equally worn out security officers.

Unable to carry on, the officials halted announcing of results and went to sleep. They continued with the activity the following day.

Still in Subukia, the announcement of results garnered by various presidential candidates was delayed for hours after the presiding officer of Mitima Primary School polling station went missing and was unreachable on phone.

RESULTS

Initial results tallying began at midnight on August 8, seven hours after polling stations had been closed.

Jubilee's candidate Uhuru Kenyatta got 41,974 votes and his main challenger Raila Odinga got 1,285 votes.