There Was No Election – A Painful Kenyan Truth
By Mutemi Kiama
September 5th, 4 days after the Supreme Court ruling, Wafula Chebukati, chairman of the disgraced Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission -IEBC- penned a confidential memo, that identified a dozen irregularities. The memo demanded explanation from the IEBC Secretariat CEO, Ezra Chiloba.
Two days later, the memo leaked. And the full import of the “dozen irregularities” became apparent to a stunned country.
The IEBC Chairman had penned an open confession that would shock both Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga’s supporters – the event on 8th August that saw millions of Kenyans queue to vote and count and declare results of a Presidential election was not only a sham. It was a ruse. It didn’t happen.
Simply put, the Chebukati memo raised the possibility that none of the Presidential results announced at the Bomas of Kenya, emanated from Kenya’s designated 40,883 polling stations. Which raises the question – where did the numbers come from? Did an election happen?
Four of the issues raised in the Chebukati memo have serious ramifications on the above questions.
1. That the KIEMS GPRS and geofencing features were switched off from August, 5, three days to the polls.
2. That Chebukati’s username and password were created without his knowledge or consent ad used to log into the IEBC server almost 9,934 times.
3. That the transmission of results from 10,366 – affecting 4,636,556 registered voters – out of the 40,883 polling stations was done without accompanying forms 34A.
4. That satellite phones worth KShs 848 million – USD$ 8.3 million purchased to transmit results from all 290 Constituencies and 47 County Tallying centers were never used.
Kenya’s social media exploded. For days horrified Kenyans struggled to understand the depth of the deception and how it contrasted with the dodgy narrative being sold through diplomatic circles, observer missions, foreign/local media and Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee party – “voting went well, the transmission had problems that affected the election.”
Chebukati’s memo suggests this narrative is the fool’s paradise. Kenyans may have to consider the seemingly impossible – that the August 8th voting and the long queues did not count. The results were already prepared.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga indignantly fired at President Kenyatta,
“Shame on you. You should not be standing in front of people and chest-thumping that you won the elections,” Raila said
According to Raila, the IEBC election server has results posted into it a day before the elections. Actually, the Supreme Court audit points at multiple logins into the server from a day earlier – 6th August – and for days after the elections specifically to delete pre loaded form 34As, alter and upload new Form 34As
Thousands of anguished online posts captured the sense of betrayal. KTN Investigative reporter Dennis Onsarigo tweeted
@Donsarigo Someone sat somewhere with CHEBUKATI’s password, deleted and uploaded statistics 9,800 times as the rest of us lined up in the sun to vote.
Something serious, and obviously criminal happened on the 8th of August 2017. In piercing the details, one inescapable question to be asked is whether the Presidential election figures as bandied by IEBC and the Uhuru Kenyatta campaign have any shred of credibility left.
The details are in the transmission system, or, the lack of it, and what this was meant to achieve, or hide. The case of the KIEMs tells an interesting story.
6 days to the polls IEBC Chief executive Ezra Chiloba said, “On Tuesday 8th August, when the 19,611, 423 registered voters go to the polls, results will be coming live from all the 40,883 polling stations at all the 338 tallying centers with no human intervention.”
This meant that when presidential election results- which were to be counted first- would be declared at any of the polling stations in Kenya, Kenyans would have real time access and develop real time tallies of the polls.
The transmission was to be done through the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS), made up of a laptop that is attached with a finger print reader and a handheld device with in-build finger print reader.
KIEMS had three tasks. First, support a voter’s identification on 8th August with the Biometric voter registration system used to electronically capture voters’ facial image, finger prints and civil data.
Secondly, it contained a data base that enabled IEBC and Returning Officers verify the accuracy of details for various candidates, compliance, polling station details and generated ballot paper proofs. The KIEMs does not allow election officials to transmit results with figures more than registered voters at any polling station.
Finally, the KIEMS has an inbuilt system to enable presiding officers transmit results to 338 tallying centers – 290 Constituency, 47 County and the Bomas National Tallying Centres. This was through specially configured mobile devices.
The KIEMs kits were configured like mobile phone devices. Each has;
. A Sim card,
. An IP Addresses to identify its location,
. An IMEI number – a unique identifier
. A Media Access Control address (MAC address) – MAC addresses are most often assigned by the manufacturer of every electronic devise and is stored in its hardware, such as the card’s read-only memory
Put simply, each of the 40,883 KIEMs kits stationed at each of the 40,883 polling stations has a unique identity, address, and location. All their communication could be tracked and audited.
Transmission of results was also made simple. To submit a result, a Presiding Officer must make a full entry of the data, in two steps – enter the numerical result, then a scanned form 34A signed by all agents of participating candidates. Only then would the KIEMs show the “submit” or “send” button and accept transmission.
It was impossible to send numeric results through KIEMs without it being accompanied by a scanned form. Once the correct process was followed, the law demanded simultaneous transmissions to the Constituency, County and National Tallying Centres.
This time, rigging a Kenyan election looked impossible. Furthermore, the foolproof process had become part of the election law. IEBC were at pains to re assure Kenyans the law would be followed.
“The primary document and what we will use as final result- is the scanned document. If the results in the scanned document is different from the alpha-numeric, the ones in the scanned document prevails,” IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati assured Kenyans at the election test run at Bomas on Aug 2.
Looking at the happenings between 8th August and 11th August when Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the President-Elect by the IEBC, several things are clear. This detailed process was not followed. What makes the Chebukati memo sensational is what he suggests – the expensive technology deployed by IEBC did not fail. It was stopped from working.
According to the Chebukati memo, the KIEMS GPRS and geofencing features were switched off from August, 5, three days to the polls. So, if geofencing features were disabled, how could one ascertain where the kit was, leave alone transmitting from, if at all? GPRS is responsible for the transmission. Switched off – it doesn’t transmit. The sheer gravity of this of Chebukati’s admission is that it’s now certain no KIEMs kit transmitted a single result from the 40,883 polling stations.
During the petition, IEBC admitted that the figures on their public portal beamed to the public on 8th and 9th August that gave Uhuru Kenyatta 8m plus votes were remitted through text messages by Presiding Officers and Returning Officers. Initially they called them “provisional results”, but pressed by Supreme Court judges, they hastily retreated and termed them “mere statistics”.
Taken to its logical conclusion, the admission points to one fact – the 40,883 KIEMs kits, never worked. How do we know this? The authentic KIEMs kit could only send a result to the 3 Tallying Centres once it was fed with both the numerical result number and the scanned Form 34A that had been signed by agents. It was impossible to send one without the other. The KIEMs kit set up couldn’t allow this.
Finally, Chebukati’s memo says his username and password were created without his knowledge or consent and registered 9934 transaction logs into the IEBC server using an unauthorized IP address. This claim is supported by the Supreme Court audit which revealed unauthorized logins were used to alter, delete and upload forged new Form 34As into the server. Additionally the partial audit also revealed that logins to upload Form 34As, the primary election results documents, started on 6th August, 2 Days to the actual election. Unauthorised person and their activities notwithstanding, access to the IEBC server was to be a read only. No one was allowed to alter results received from the KIEMs kits across the country. But as already proven, the KIEMs were not the primary source of the results.
The access on the servers also tell their own story. If KIEMs kits were used in the transmission, the Supreme Court audit would have revealed 40,883 successful logins as each devise had a specific ID that would authenticate it to lodge results. One more thing, once a KIEMs kit had delivered its one result, it couldn’t work anymore. Its job was done. The audit revealed that the Access control list provided for only 341 users logins. Not the 40,883 especially if each KIEMs kit was registered as a unique user. Possible conclusion? The results on the IEBC servers were forgeries. No KIEMs kit accessed the server. 341users are the ones who posted, amended, uploaded Form 34As. 9,934 of the logins were done by Chebukati’s address alone. He claims this was done without his knowledge.
According to the Supreme Court partial audit, these 341 users repeatedly logged in between 6th August and 22nd August altering, deleting and uploading new results. What was supposed to be a one day voting exercise for millions of Kenyans, instead became 16 days of voting by 341 individuals who apparently decided what the final presidential election results would be.
Suddenly its easier to understand why IEBC officials, by their own admission, were filling and scanning Form 34As at Bomas of Kenya instead of offloading already filled and scanned forms from their own portal transmitted by the KIEMs kits from across the country.
It now explains why most of IEBCs Forms 34As and Form34Bs had no security features designated in the contract with Dubai’s Al Ghurair. They were not the original forms that were used on election day.
It also figures why the mandatory declaration of Presidential results at the constituency level and issuance of Form 34B at that stage was never done.
That satellite phones purchased to transmit results from all 290 Constituencies and 47 County Tallying centers were never used adds credence to one thing – results were not transmitted from the field – there was no need to – and were generated in Nairobi by rogue IEBC officials.
Important to note is that IEBC has refused to comply with the Supreme Court order that granted opposition access to server details and records of each KIEMs kit ie IP Addresses, IMEI number, SIM Card number. These details will pin point where each kit was, what it did on the night of 8th Aug.
A final twist to wind up the bizarre story. A court official who participated in the Supreme Court ordered scrutiny conceded that IEBC presented 41,451 forms 34A for constituency results. That is strange. The official number of gazetted polling stations for the 2017 elections is 40,883. Suddenly Kenyans would discover that there were 568 extra polling stations whose identity and location were not known to anyone. Except the IEBC.
“A decision is hereby issued that the elections held on August 8, were not conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the applicable law. The results are therefore invalid, null and void,” said Chief Justice David Maraga in Kenya’s Supreme Court ruling.
Kenyans woke up to vote for a President on August 8th 2017. Those votes did not count. And were not counted.
If an election consists of voting, counting, tallying and declaration of results, it is time Kenyans faced up to the painful truth – There was no election for President on August 8th.