, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 2 – Some 360,000 polling station officials who will be used during the elections next week will be sworn in by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Commission’s Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba explained that the two-day exercise follows rigorous training of the officials on how to handle the elections.
Chiloba was speaking during a meeting with broadcasters on Wednesday where he emphasised that the electoral body is fully prepared for the nationwide exercise.
“Talking about poll officials, we have recruited 360,000 for polling station operations. They are now undergoing training, we are swearing them in today and tomorrow to get them ready for the elections,” he said.
“At this point in time, we have been able to dispatch all the kits to the polling stations and the training is ongoing now,” he stated.
He indicated that all the information on how the exercise is being conducted is available on the Commission’s website and urged everyone to scrutinise it.
“We have a register of voters that has been gazetted and published online. It is important for the public to know all those details on polling stations and agents so that it is not a matter of conjecture but a matter of fact,” he said.
Chiloba also assured that the Commission is fully set for next week’s elections even as it prepares for a countrywide live simulation of the election results transmission system Wednesday afternoon.
He stated that all the Biometric kits to be used have already been dispatched to various polling stations across the country.
“We are going to have the public simulation of how the results transmission is going to happen today at 3pm. In 2013, that never happened. What we are doing today is not that we are doing it for the first time,” he said.
“We have been doing this thing since June doing our own internal dry runs and confirming to ourselves that we are in a good place.”
The simulation exercise is due to be held at the national tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya, as well as all the 47 county tallying centres, starting at 3pm.
“What we expect is that the Presiding officer who is the agent will move to a place where there is network to enable tem transmit the results. We are also trying as much as possible to ensure 100 per cent network coverage in terms of network in our 290 tallying centres,” Chiloba explained.
The system will be used to transmit election results during the elections, with the aim of ensuring all goes as planned in ensuring a credible and transparent election.
In Nairobi, the test will be done at the county tallying centre in Kasarani Sports Stadium, while Bandari College in Mombasa will be the county’s tallying centre.
In Mombasa, the county tallying centre is at Bandari College while in Kwale County the national tallying centre is at the Kenya School of Government in Matuga. In Kilifi, the national tallying centre is at Pwani University while Tana River’s tallying centre is at the Mau Mau Memorial High School.
The exercise was set for Monday but was postponed, following the discovery of the body of the commission’s ICT Manager Chris Msando who had been missing since Friday.