Uhuru's big day - Daily Nation

Uhuru set for State House win

Saturday March 9 2013

Tally at 1:30 am: Uhuru Kenyatta: 6,173,433;

Tally at 1:30 am: Uhuru Kenyatta: 6,173,433; Raila Odinga: 5,340,546. NATION MEDIA GROUP

By JOHN NGIRACHU [email protected]

The electoral commission will on Saturday morning declare whether Mr Uhuru Kenyatta has won the presidency.

The Jubilee Coalition presidential candidate was announced to have got 6,173,433 votes out of 12,338,667 total votes cast in the March 4 General Election. This translates to 50.03 of the vote. Cord leader Raila Odinga came second with 5,340,546.

Both candidates had already met the other constitutional threshold of winning 25 per cent of the votes in at least 24 counties.

Although the Independent Electoral Commission had planned to announce the results on Friday, tallying went on into the night.

The commission will now announce the results at 11am on Saturday for security and other strategic reasons.

Moving in and out

The two candidates’ agents and supporters kept moving in and out of the tightly guarded National Tallying Centre at the Bomas of Kenya as a choir tried to get people’s minds away from the results.

Regular and Administration police stood guard as their colleagues from General Service Unit and the Recce Unit maintained a presence at the entrance to and inside of the auditorium.

Mr Odinga was scheduled to address a press conference on Friday, but it was called off after the commission failed to release the final results.

“The tallying seems likely to come much later than had been projected,” a statement from his communication team said.

At a news conference in the evening, the commission sought to assure Kenyans that the process of verifying the results brought in by Returning Officers would end soon.

“This is a difficult process because you have to get it right the first time,” commission chief executive James Oswago said.

“This doesn’t mean that mistakes do not occur here and there, but the important thing is we’ve put in place mechanisms whereby if mistakes occur, they can be detected and very quickly corrected.”

He said the commission was working with political party representatives, who had been handed some of the materials delivered by the Returning Officers, and which were used to verify the results.

Mr Oswago said the staff verifying the results has been divided into nine teams, handling different counties. “Those teams work independently,” he said.

After each team finishes scrutinising a result, it is submitted to the National Audit Office, headed by a deputy to the chief secretary and the chief executive officer.

Once that is done, the information is then prepared for keying into the computer and cleared for announcement.

Mr Oswago admitted some results read out at the auditorium had not been displayed on the screens and that some displayed had not been read out to the audience.

“That is not a big worry because at the end of the process, we will create a document with eight copies containing the form the Returning Officer brings to us and that will be given to (everybody involved) at the end of the process or towards the end of the process,” Mr Oswago said.

The screens were immediately changed to reflect the changes.

He said the commission had encountered “small problems” with Returning Officers from Mathare and Endebess and these had been corrected.

“We will finish this work; the chairman wants it now but I have been requesting him that we will make sure it is done,” he said of the tallying.

Every one be here

“I hope that by the time we read this report, even if is four o’clock, every one of you will be here.”

He said the teams were balancing the need for speed in clearing the workload but also ensuring accuracy of the final result.

“We want, by the time we finish this work, we may at least say that it was not as fast as expected but the quality is one that is beyond reproach,” Mr Oswago said.

Commission chairman Isaack Hassan thanked Kenyans for their patience and understanding despite the commission having failed to meet its self-imposed Friday morning deadline for the declaration of the results.

He said chief agents and presidential agents had a right to access him and the commission any time, and asked anybody with issues concerning the results to do so.

Before the announcements were made, parties were given the results and updated tally sheets, he said.

Finally, each party and the presidential agents would be handed a list of the results.

“I want to assure you that the results you are seeing being released here are credible and reflect the will of the people as they voted,” he said.