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Independent agencies confident of chaotic-free August polls

Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet at the conference/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 14 – Public agencies have exuded confidence of a successful General Election come August 8, as the National Elections Conference ended Wednesday.

Heads of the institutions which include the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), National Police Service (NPS), National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) and the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) spoke in one accord on the country’s readiness for polls saying they had put measures in place to facilitate the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) oversee national elections in August and curb violence.

Police Chief Joseph Boinnet assured during the conference that operational plans had been crafted based on situations on ground in various parts of the country to deter disruption of polls.

The Inspector General said instructions have been issued down the chain of command to ensure effective monitoring and prompt response in case of attempts to disrupt peace during the elections.

“I instructed all the Deputy Inspector Generals and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to instruct their County Commanders to draw clear and specific operational orders to define how they will conduct the exercise in their respective counties in line with our national elections security strategy,” Boinnet said during the conference held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.

He noted that the various regiments of the NPS are going to work together to boast the effectiveness of the police during before, during and after polls in order to deter the occurrence of violence.

“We’re aware that we may not have sufficient personnel resources and we’re going to be supported by other national security agencies that include the prisons service, wildlife service and the forest service to supplement our efforts,” he said.

Speaking during the conference, the Director General of the Communications Authority Francis Wangusi said three telecommunications providers have zoned the country with a view of providing the internet infrastructure IEBC needs to transmit election results.

He said the authority had recommended 384.1 kilobytes per second for the transmission of election results to ensure the electoral process is successful.

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Wangusi also said that the authority was satisfied that the electoral agency will be able to transmit results in areas with 2G coverage with customized encryption.

“We recommended that 384.1 kilobytes per second per second is a credible speed that can transmit election results,” he said while calling for more tests to ensure the internet infrastructure is reliable on the Election Day.

The Director General said he was satisfied with measures put in place by the IEBC to ensure the data being transmitted by its agents is secured.

“We believe IEBC has done proper cryptography to ensure the data they are transmitting will not be interfered with,” Wangusi said.

The DPP on his part said the directorate has established a 24-Hour call centre to bolster cooperation with members of the public.

Keriako Tobiko said the call centre is among measures being undertaken by the directorate to ensure it is effective in its operations.

“We’ve established a 24-hour secretariat which will be equipped with a hotline and hence they will be able to receive complaints from the public.”

He however expressed regret with the manner in which political parties handled nominations giving indicted persons an opportunity to be on the ballot on the August 8 General Election, saying such a move serves to impede anti-graft efforts.

“Majority of those facing prosecution by my office have been nominated and cleared to stand for elections. You therefore ask yourself, Do we really as citizens and as voters by regard to issues of integrity?” Tobiko wondered.

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He defended the directorate against accusations of failing to crack the whip on errant politicians pointing out that four cases involving candidates in the forthcoming elections had already been concluded with about fifty more at an advanced stage.

He said the directorate has eliminated cases of delays witnessed before when police acted as prosecutors as a result of enhanced capacity of the DPP.

“There’s no longer the delays that used to characterized the prosecution of crime in this country and this should serve as a warning to all and sundry. No one is above the law; you commit a crime, we shall prosecute you irrespective your party affiliation and stature in this country.”

The conference which commenced Monday ended on Wednesday with an assurance from the IEBC of proper management of the election.

Commissioner Abdi Guliye said servers that will operationalise two data centres – primary and secondary – were already in the country paving way for the completion of the vital installations which will be used to receive and process election results on poll day.

“We’re going to have a primary site and a backup secondary site and since servers are already in the country we will finalize that in two weeks,” said Guliye.


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