Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A long day at Bomas waiting for Kenyan election results

I spent a few hours at Bomas of Kenya today, which is where the tallying center for the General Election Kenya 2013 is.

The Bomas tallying center was very quiet. In the time I was there, they only announced results of two constituencies: Rongo (in Nyanza- a Raila stronghold) and Undanyi (on the Coast-voting is mixed). The depressing thing is that hours after I returned home, the news is still reporting these same results, with the addition of Kajiado Central (where Raila won)

My understanding is that the electronic machinery at Bomas really stopped working, so now they are going back to manually verifying the tallies.

The downside is that the technology failed. Another huge downside is that the delay is painful and may be causing wananchi (citizens) to panic. Rumors are flying on facebook.

The upside, and the big upside, in my view, is that the election remains peaceful. People are going to work. Streets are not empty, but they are not full eitheri. The manual technology works perfectly well. And from what I saw, the procedures implemented make rigging extremely difficult.

So, I prefer to see the glass half full.

Results have changed little from my last report. Due to the manual tally occuring in Bomas, this process could be slow. Based on what I have seen, I think they have reports of all the votes that have been cast. What is likely delaying the process is that agents must agree on the vote before they release it to the press.

At this rate, this vote counting could take a week.

I am going to be boarding a plane in a few hours, but I will keep posting my analysis.


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