NAIROBI, August 28 – The Electoral Commission of Kenya on Thursday denied claims that officials at the national tallying centre manipulated results presented by Returning Officers during last year’s polls.
The Commission’s Secretary Suleiman Chege who was in charge of the centre, told the Independent Review Commission (IREC) that the officers merely recorded and tallied the figures.
The perception is that there was doctoring, we have no authority to change any figures from a returning officer. The results belonged to the Returning Officers; it was not our responsibility to clean any document,” Chege insisted.
The Orange Democratic Movement, election observers and a section of the Civil Society have previously accused officials at the KICC tallying centre of manipulating figures in favour of Party of National Unity candidate Mwai Kibaki.
The issuance of partial results has dominated the proceedings for the last two days with revelations that these were mistaken to be the final tally setting the pace for the dispute.
Chege nevertheless denied pressuring team leaders at KICC, who in turn allegedly pushed Returning Officers (RO) resulting in delivery of partial results.
During cross examination by Party of National Unity (PNU) Lawyer Kioko Kilukumi, he clarified that team leaders were supposed to report the progress of the exercise and not receive partial results.
Chege dismissed a testimony by Agnes Kisero who was in was in charge of 21 constituencies from central province, that he had instructed her to call the ROs and get the results.
Kilukumi: Did you put pressure on Kisero to get results from Central Province?
Chege: No sir.
Kilukumi: Do you know whether she put any pressure on the returning officers?
Chege: I do not know.
Kisero was overseeing, among others, Juja and Kerugoya constituencies which were at the centre of controversy regarding results.