Sunday, September 21, 2008



Sunday Standard
By Athman Amran

The Kriegler Report that was handed over to President Kibaki on Wednesday failed to spur the public.

Before the report was handed over, Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice (KPTJ) had come up with its analysis in their special edition of Truth and Trust Digest on September 15.

In "Countdown to Deception: 30 hours that destroyed Kenya…", KPTJ gives an account of events recorded by election observers from Saturday December 29 to Sunday December 30, 2007.

Four of the five domestic election observers had been allowed into the verification process the night before the announcement of the presidential results.

The observers’ log begins on Saturday, December 29, at 1.43pm. At this time there were first signs that things were not right in the tallying process.

Some ECK commissioners had expressed their concern about long delays in receiving results.

ECK boss Samuel Kivuitu became suspicious of discrepancies at 4pm, according to the log.

Things seemed to be so confused by 6pm that the morning teams left without properly handing over to their night counterparts.

Discrepancies with forms 16A, 16 and 17A started being observed, Deputy leader of Team II (night) noted that the results for Lamu East, Lamu West, Wundanyi and Dujis had come without the forms and refuses to accept them.

The tallying centre had set up 10 teams, each working on about 21 constituencies to verify and forward results to the computer team.

Between 8pm and 9pm, observers were denied access to the tallying room at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre. Kivuitu intervened and they are allowed in.

Serious anomalies

By 10.47pm all results of the presidential elections were in, except for 14 constituencies whose return documents had "serious anomalies".

The anomalies, according to the observers, were unsigned forms by returning officers and party agents not countersigning them. In some cases only photocopies of forms were available.

Some forms did not have the required ECK stamp, most returning officers phoned in different results from what they delivered in person and the acceptance of results from some constituencies by a senior ECK staff and commissioners without proper documentation.

The constituencies that had no proper documentation, according to the observers, were Kipipiri, Starehe, Kinangop, Garsen, Turkana Central, Turkana North and Kajiado North.

They observed that 44 constituencies did not have original, signed, countersigned and stamped documentation for the results.

There were also 34 unsigned documents for Mathira, which had 77,442 votes against the 80,024 announced.

ECK also announced results for some constituencies without documents. The constituencies include Starehe, Likoni, Malindi, Galole, Wundanyi, Ijara, Lamu East, Voi, Makadara, Dujis and Igembe South.

Others were: Kimilili, Bumula, Alego, Kitutu Masaba, Nyaribari Chache, Bomachage and Kuria. Returning officers claimed they could not find the original files for Kieni, Ol Kalou and North Imenti.

A senior ECK member had at 1am on Sunday, December 30, approached observer Koki Muli expressing the need for the observers to scrutinise all returning officers’ returns.

Muli was also cautioned that the discrepancies were planned.

An hour later an ECK staff, Mr Kipkemoi Kirui, raised alarm about discrepancies. He was, however, told to leave if he wished.

There was an ominous sign when at 9.30am,on Sunday, a message was sent out asking all agents to leave the premises. Paramilitary police forcibly removed observers.

Kenyans were at this time anxious to know the presidential results after the ECK had said it would do so at 10am.

Tension had built up all over the country. A day before, violence had broken out in some parts due to the delay in announcing of the results.

Media briefing

But at 10am, the ECK put off indefinitely the scheduled media briefing.

This prompted ODM presidential candidate Raila Odinga to claim, at a press conference at KICC, that he had won the election.

At 2.21pm, agitated ODM leaders alleged rigging by ECK in 48 constituencies.

Attempts, at 4pm, by Kivuitu to announce the final results failed as ODM members shouted him down.

ECK commissioners immediately left the hall under police escort.

At an ODM press conference at 4.42 pm, Kirui said the poll results and documents were being manipulated at the tallying centre.

Amid tension and sporadic violence throughout the country, ECK sent a message to the diplomatic corps at 5pm that it was about to announce the presidential results.

Thirty-nine minutes later, paramilitary police cleared KICC as Kivuitu announced Kibaki had won the election.

Kibaki was sworn in as President leading to an unprecedented eruption of violence.

At 6.30pm the then Internal Security Minister John Michuki suspended live broadcasts, giving a blackout ODM’s live press conference.

KPTJ says all domestic and international teams that observed last year’s General Election "up to the point of tallying" had found that ECK results were not credible.

"There was no consistency in the documents from the constituencies. Some were difficult to read or contained numerous errors such as lacking dates, signatures and ECK stamps," the report said.

There were also differences between results registered on constituency result documents and what the ECK ultimately published.

KPTJ alleges there was falsification of documents and those involved should be charged with the alleged offence.