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Kajiado observers say polls were free and transparent

Kajiado County Election Observers have termed the August 9, 2022 General Elections as fairly free and transparent.

The observers, under the County Governance Watch group, noted that elections at the county were mostly peaceful in most polling stations despite a few hiccups being witnessed.

The Election Observers, comprised of community leaders drawn from the peace committee, women, youth leaders, persons with disability and minority groups.

The team, which oversaw the electioneering process in various polling stations, lauded the commission on how it handled the failure of KIEMS kits, and incorporated the use of manual registers allowing Kenyans to vote. The manual registers were used in a number of polling stations.

They noted that despite the failure of the KIEMS kits in some stations and allegations of electoral malpractices, voting went on generally well in the county.

Other challenges faced include: allegations of voter bribery at the polling stations, low voter turn-out and presence of fake election observers who tried to access the tallying centers.

One of the observers, Dorcas Nasieku urged IEBC to enhance the security features on the identification badges to ensure that they are not duplicated.

The election observers commended the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for conducting free and transparent elections in 2022 compared to 2017 and 2013.

However, the team noted that there were many areas of improvement the electoral body needed to adopt for future elections.

County Governance Watch Executive Director Kevin Osido, said that there was need for thorough training of IEBC officials, party agents and candidates on the elements of the poll process so as to increase transparency and confidence in the process.

“IEBC should conduct thorough training of all persons involved in the electoral process including the voters to enhance confidence and transparency in the electoral process,” said Osido.

Osido revealed that infrastructure, knowledge and innovation are necessary for technology to play a role in Kenyan elections and democracy and IEBC should ensure proper planning, production, distribution and securing of polling material on time to avoid last minute rushes.

He further recommended the creation of a consequence management approach to polling agents who mismanage the elections at their respective levels.

On the national tally, Osido called on IEBC to develop mechanisms of providing provisional nationwide tallies of the presidential vote as the country awaits the announcement of the final results from the physical forms.

By Rop Janet

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