KENYAN ELECTION: Is Technology Killing Democracy?

  • IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba: Has been accused by the opposition of plotting rigging. Photo: Standard

Opposition leaders in Kenya and a section of governors in the country have rejected the results of the 2017 general election which was held on 8th August, 2017, arguing hackers infiltrated the website of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Kenya’s electoral agency. Under the outfit, National Super Alliance (NASA), they bitterly stated that the results, which shows incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta leading with 54%, were electronically generated and do not represent the will of the people.

NASA leader and presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, while forwarding his grievances to the IEBC, accompanied by an IT expert, said the hackers pounced at midnight of 8th August, the day Kenyans voted and changed the results to favour Uhuru Kenyatta, setting the stage for a bruising post-election political battle. He advised his supporters to remain calm but tension and anxiety is palpable in a country where protests against election rigging has resulted into deaths of hundreds in the past.

Some youths took to the streets in Nairobi and Kisumu towns on Wednesday, prompting the police to respond brutally. Two were killed while dozens sustained injuries. Amnesty International has scolded the police for cruelty.

IEBC has responded to Odinga’s claims by taking all the agents of both the contesting parties through a verification process but many believe the agency has been compromised. The question now on the lips of many Kenyans is: Did the 2017 election technologically rigged?

I suspected there was a problem because the 1 million gap between Kenyatta and his opponent remained constant despite random transmission of results.” Said David Kirui, a university student.

A week to the election, IEBC ICT Manager was brutally murdered, fueling fears of a plot to rig the election.