The team of Ugandans sent as observers to the recently concluded elections in Kenya noticed a number of loopholes in the exercise, especially during tallying of the votes.
The team selected by Uganda’s High Commission to Kenya was led by Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC)’s Spokesperson Michael Osinde Orachi.
Mr Osinde while speaking in an interview with Chimpreports said their work as observers was rendered almost insignificant by circumstances, especially during tallying at the national tally center at the Bomas of Kenya.
He says he, and the Ugandan Ambassador to Kenya, Angelina Wapakabulo were the only Ugandans allowed access to the Bomas of Kenya to observe the final tallying.
Other members of the delegation included FDC’s Amanya Mushega, Kawuma Ddigo a member of the National Consultative Forum (NCF) and Vincent Mulokozi a staff at the NCF secretariat.
As such, Amanya Mushega went to Mombasa, Osinde and Ambassador Wapakabulo handled Nairobi and Bomas while the rest handled Southern Nairobi,” Osinde said.
Osinde says that the entire voting process was peaceful with high level of enthusiasm by Kenyans to choose their leaders, but their work became challenging and confusing when it came to the tallying of results.
“The guidelines issued to observers by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) required higher standards of accurate of information, ensuring that all observers are comprehensive, putting into consideration all positive and negative factors as well as distinguishing between significant and insignificant factors,” he said.
“When it came to tallying, for me to assert the element of accuracy in the early hours of tallying would be deceiving the public.”
“We questioned how the figures were arriving at the tally centre and we got clarification from the Dr. Ezra Chiloba (Chief Electoral Officer IEBC) who told us to ignore the results that were showing up on the screen, that they were apparently provisional results and that the real results that the IEBC would rely on would be results from the return forms (34A and 34B).”
After the address, Osinde says, there was harmony and everybody at the centre including candidates’ agents and other observers kept waiting to have a chance to inspect and analyze the forms on arrival.
“We witnessed some few but it was hard to accurately confirm that they were genuine and original, because most of them were claimed to be sent through the electronic system and it was hard for us to observe the electronic transmission system from the constituency to the tally centre.”
“It was a sensitive security matter and we could not access the systems; all we did there was watch a billboard in Bomas and figures were just trickling in.”
Osinde adds that while they expected lots of forms coming in, they only kept seeing results on the billboard which were not fluctuating.
“As days went by, we saw that the results which could have fluctuated almost remained constant. It was now hard to tell the effect of the 34A and 34B forms.”
Raila Odinga, the main opposition candidate was particularly dissatisfied with the process and he challenged the final results in the Kenyan Supreme Court.
He says he won the election but the IEBC manipulated the results.
The Kenyan court is expected to hold its pre-trial conference tomorrow Saturday.