Uhuru Kenyatta declared winner, Nasa protests

Saturday August 12 2017

By NG'ANG'A MBUGUA
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By JOHN NGIRACHU
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By IBRAHIM ORUKO
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President Uhuru Kenyatta was on Friday night declared the winner of the 2017 presidential election at a ceremony held at Bomas of Kenya, the national tallying centre.

Declaring the results, the chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Mr Wafula Chebukati, said that Mr Kenyatta had garnered 8,203,290 votes, representing 54.27 per cent of the votes cast.

The ODM and Nasa candidate, Mr Raila Odinga, came in second with 6,762,224 votes, representing 44.74 per cent of the votes cast.

In total, 15,073,662 people cast their votes, representing 78.91 per cent of the registered voters.

Mr Kenyatta also garnered more than 25 per cent of the votes cast in 35 counties, compared to Mr Odinga who got over 25 per cent in 29 counties.

As such, Mr Kenyatta had qualified to be declared winner together with his running mate, Mr William Ruto.

PRESIDENT ELECT

“I, therefore, wish to declare Hon Uhuru Kenyatta the President-elect and Hon William Ruto as the Deputy-President-elect,” Mr Chebukati said before handing the winners’ certificates to the two.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Kenyatta reached out to those who had lost, especially to Mr Odinga.

“To our brothers and worthy competitors, we are not enemies,” he said. “There shall be winners and losers in any competition.

Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto hold their certificates after Kenyatta was announced winner of the presidential election at the IEBC National Tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya, in Nairobi. PHOTO | THOMAS MUKOYA | REUTERS

Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto hold their certificates after Kenyatta was announced winner of the presidential election at the IEBC National Tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya, in Nairobi. PHOTO | THOMAS MUKOYA | REUTERS

“I reach out to you and all your supporters and all elected on the opposition benches... we shall develop this country together.”

To Kenyans, he said: “Elections come and go… Let us always remember we are brothers and sisters. There is no need for violence. Politicians come and go, but your neighbours remain. Reach out to your neighbour, shake their hands tell them regardless of who you voted for you are still my brother, my sister”.

JOSEPH NYAGAH

The other candidates had less than one per cent of the votes cast. Mr Joseph Nyaga got 42,259 votes, Mr Abduba Dida got 38,093 votes, Dr Ekuru Aukot 27,311, Mr Japheth Kaluyu got 16,482,  Prof Michael Wainaina got 13,257 while Cyrus Jirongo got 11,705.

The announcement of President Kenyatta’s victory came after an afternoon full of tension that culminated in Nasa tabling a list of demands at the National Tallying Centre.

Mr Odinga had made his way to the tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya accompanied by his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama, ODM chairman John Mbadi and a host of other leaders, including Mr Odinga’s chief agents Musalia Mudavadi and James Orengo.

They immediately went into a meeting with Mr Chebukati and are also reported to have met religious leaders and envoys. 

FRESH DEMANDS

After the meetings, Nasa gave a fresh set of demands, top of which was that the electoral commission should open up its computer servers to allow them and any other interested party to scrutinise it. 

“Give us access to servers where the results have come from. We should be allowed to look at the hacking that took place, particularly between noon on August 8 and on the morning of August 9,” said Mr Orengo.

The Nasa leaders said some of the presidential results being relayed were from polling stations that had not been gazetted.

According to them, many of these were in the Rift Valley.

Mr Mudavadi  and Mr Orengo also explained that their claim on Thursday that Mr Odinga was the winner of the presidential contest did not amount to a declaration of results. 

Mr Orengo said that Nasa expected a reply from IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati on the complaints and demands that they had made.

FORMAL REQUEST

Asked about the demands later, Mr Ezra Chiloba, the commission’s chief executive, said “We don’t have a formal request. They had a meeting with the chairman and the chairman has not briefed the commission.”

Asked whether the demand on the servers would be met, he said: “The process has been transparent enough.” 

IEBC has denied claims that its servers were hacked and dismissed a document produced by Nasa purporting to show logs on their server.

They said that while the Nasa document indicates that IEBC was using a Microsoft SQL database, the commission was actually using a platform run on an Oracle database. 

Mr Chebukati on Thursday evening described Nasa’s claim regarding the commission’s servers as “grossly incorrect and premature” and the document they submitted  as “plainly falsified” and containing elementary mathematical errors. 

At about 7.30pm, Mr Odinga’s chief agents stormed out of the National Tallying Centre and hinted that they may opt for mass protests to force the electoral commission to declare the Nasa candidate  winner of the Tuesday’s poll.

ADDRESSING CONCERNS

Mr Mudavadi and Mr Orengo accused the commission of disregarding their concerns and insisting on declaring President Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner of the presidential election before addressing the concerns they had raised over the transmissions of results.

“The issues we raised have not been adequately addressed and basically it was like a PR exercise that we were going through in the afternoon when the commission was telling us to put our concerns in writing,” Mr Mudavadi said.

“For the record we are storming out and we shall not be party to the games being played by the commission. We shall not be party to this declaration,” Mr Orengo said.

During the day, senior members of the presidential escort team had also arrived and were shortly joined by others in plainclothes from the General Service Unit that guards the President. 

Two chairs covered in red had also been carried into the building outside with a banner titled “Presidential Candidates Only” placed. 

WILLIAM RUTO

Deputy President William Ruto arrived about 15 minutes after Mr Odinga and was received by a group of the newly-elected Jubilee Party MPs as well as their unlucky counterparts who were defeated at the polls. At least 10 Cabinet Secretaries, five Principal Secretaries, Nairobi governor-elect Mike Sonko, the President’s brother, Mr Muhoho Kenyatta, the President’s private secretary, Mr Jomo Gecaga, Speaker Justin Muturi and Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua were also present. 

After Mr Odinga’s team addressed the press at 4pm — Mr Odinga did not attend the press conference — the Nasa boss left the venue. Mr Ruto departed shortly after. 

The commission on Wednesday set up the process for the verification of the 34B forms sent by the Returning Officers on the floor of the auditorium at the National Tallying Centre at the Bomas of Kenya. 

Mr Chiloba told the Nation that the validation process was set up in the open to avoid a similar situation in 2013 when it was done in a separate building. 

There were about 10 desks in a circle where the verification was going on. 

Forms 34B were being received at the first two desks  and downloaded by a team headed by Mr Marjan Hussein. Mr Chiloba said they were encrypted and sent through a secure connection. 

CONFIRM RESULTS

Mr Hussein and his team were then required to confirm the results with the Returning Officers at the constituency by checking the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) addresses as well as the email addresses from which they were sent. They would also call the Returning Officers. 

The team would then make copies of the forms and share with the presidential candidates’ agents, who had been allocated space at a table next to the one where the results were being received and copies made. The agents had also been given a link to the server on which the Forms 34As were available to compare with the data obtained by their agents on the ground. 

The copies were shared with the desks handling the cluster of counties from which the results had been received.

The counties had been clustered in the order in which they are named in the Constitution.

In charge at each desk was a senior IEBC employee. Each team was overseen by a commissioner. 

After verifying the results, the team would then prepare a section of Form 34C, which contains all the results as obtained from Forms 34B. 

DISCREPANCIES

The team would also note any discrepancies. “We don’t expect them to change the results,” said Mr Chiloba. 

Following the ruling by the Court of Appeal, the chairman of the IEBC cannot make any changes to the results received from the Constituency Returning Officers as they are deemed final. 

The final stage was the Validation Desk, where another team scrutinised the document, confirmed whether the collation had been done properly and then prepare a report for submission to the commissioners.

Governors congratulated President Kenyatta on his win, saying they would work together to build the country.

“On behalf of Council of Governors, I wish to congratulate President-elect Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta on his re-election to serve the Republic of Kenya for a period of five years.

“We will endeavour to play our role as members of the Inter-Governmental body and work with the administration in the spirit of consultations and cooperation,” Council of Governors chair and Turkana governor Jopshat Nanok said in a statement.