Kenya polls body trains its officers

July 19, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 19 – The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) said on Monday that it would deploy 175,000 officials across the country to conduct the August 4 referendum on the proposed Constitution.

Speaking during a two-day training workshop for the 210 Constituency Election Coordinators, Commissioner Winnie Guchu said the government has also committed 63,000 police officers to maintain security at all the polling centres.

"The conduct of the referendum is dependent on the training that we provide to our officers, I am confident we’ll be able to put a proper team in place to run the referendum," she said.

The electoral body has also hired 84,000 tallying clerks and 210 IT technicians who will assist in the tallying of the votes during the process. These will serve alongside 210 Returning Officers and their deputies, 116,000 polling clerks and 206 trained clerks who will be on stand-by.

Ms Guchu expressed concern that some parts of the country may not be able to conduct real-time tallying because they are not covered by the mobile network coverage.

"We use 50 percent transmission using mobile phones and likewise using the laptops and what we have established is that both systems work. I can say this for a fact that in places where there is no network it may be a problem to transmit," she said.

But she was confident that the electronic relay of results would be successful in 80 percent of polling centres “which will give a good indication of voting trends."

The Matuga and South Mugirango by-elections have demonstrated how use of modern technology can enhance the integrity of electoral processes, and greatly eliminate the prospects of vote manipulation.

The Johann Kriegler-led Independent Review Commission found that the disbanded Electoral Commission of Kenya vote tallies had glaring anomalies and concluded that to speed up the process, the commission should computerise its operations.

The commission is in the meantime meeting to discuss the campaign modalities after members of the No team complained about television advertisement that have been produced by the Yes team, where some of its leaders are portrayed as deviating from their original stand on the proposed constitution.


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