NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has put measures in place to ensure that the August General Election results will be transmitted promptly.
In an interview with Capital FM News, IEBC Deputy Commission Secretary Marjan Hussein said the commission had taken into consideration the 12 percent of areas in the country without network coverage.
“It is recognised that there will be some parts in Kenya where the network will not be available and therefore the commission has been tasked to work with Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) to come up with ways of addressing that issue,” he explained.
According to CAK, 94.4 percent of the country’s population has network coverage of 2G which is mainly reliable for voice.
78 percent of the country on the other hand has 3G network coverage which can support both voice and sending of data.
However, to send huge data, 3G and 4G are the most adequate according to Marjan.
“There are certain areas where even 2G is less than five percent e.g Garissa, Turkana, Samburu – they have little coverage and in fact some areas have no network at all,” he explained.
To ascertain and mark areas that are not well covered, IEBC will conduct a test drive after the Mass Voter Registration (MVR) that will kick off next week.
READ: IEBC targets 4 to 6mn new voters in listing from January 16
Areas that are not covered by network, satellite phones will be deployed to be used for results transmission during the August Election.
“After registering people, we are going to do some test drive to see whether all those polling stations have network coverage of not. And where we will find there is no network, we will declare them,” he said.
According to the amended election law, IEBC is authorised to make it public areas that are out of network coverage.
“In those areas we will use satellite phones for transmission purposes.”
However, in other parts of the country that are fully covered with network, transmission of results will be done electronically and promptly using existing connections.
Marjan further clarified that only transmission of results will require a network while identification of voters using the Electronic Voter Identification Device, (EVID) and the voting itself will not require a network connection since they will rely on resident kits at the polling stations.