Twenty seven (27) percent of the polling stations in the country are out of 3G or 4G network coverage directing affecting presiding officers who will have to move to areas with network to be able to electronically transmit the presidential results according to the IEBC. The 11,155 out of the total 40,883 polling stations are not covered by the network essential for electronic transmission of results during Tuesday’s General Election.
The electoral body however, says the electronic transmission of results is still intact as additional to presiding officers moving to the nearest point where the network is enabled. IEBC has provisioned satellite devices in all the 290 constituency tallying centers across the country to enhance transmission rate. Dr Roselyn Akombe Kwamboka , IEBC Commissioner says, “The credibility of the election will not be affected by lack of 3G network in the 11155 polling stations.” “Delays in some areas may be as a result of lack of network and not manipulation of the results,” she added during a televised interview in one of Kenya’s stations. “We do not need 3G network for verification of voters, it will be needed during transmission of results,” says Akombe.
IEBC Chairperson, Wafula Chebukati also said, “I know that there is information reaching Kenyans that some polling stations don’t have access to network coverage but our position is that should that happen, the presiding officer should move to a place with network coverage. However, I wish to stress that the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) gadgets will still retain the data in the event of a change of location and will continue transmitting even after this kind of scenario.”
On the other hand, three leading Mobile Network Operators (MNOS) Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom have assured the country that they are ready to provide the electoral body with a secure network coverage come Tuesday’s polls. In a joint statement on Sunday the MNOs together with IEBC acknowledged the fact that their main responsibility is to “provide a secure conduit to transmit the encrypted results between the polling stations and the IEBC’s data center which is the National Tallying Center in Nairobi”. “The IEBC has entered into standard level agreement(s) with the MNOs, to support IEBC to deliver on its constitutional duty to the nation,” said the MNOs in a statement.
David Indeje is a writer and editor, with interests on how technology is changing journalism, government and society. He has been practicing Journalism since 2008. Environment, Agriculture Business, Health and Gender Development stories are his passion.David can be reached on: (020) 528 0222
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