Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Raila: Tech fail led to vote fraud

28 March 2013, 08:36

Nairobi - Lawyers challenging Uhuru Kenyatta's victory in the Kenyan presidential election said on Wednesday new technology meant to counter fraud had broken down, leading to a manipulated vote count.

Losing candidate Raila Odinga is contesting the result in court and both sides have agreed to accept the outcome.

A disputed vote five years ago ignited tribal violence that dented Kenya's reputation as a stable democracy but the presidential election on 4 March took place without bloodshed.

Lawyers for Odinga told the Supreme Court that the failure of an electronic system to transmit numbers from polling stations to a tallying centre and the breakdown of other equipment had undermined the chances of a transparent vote.

"The voting system was prone to manipulation in the absence of electronic voter identification," said Odinga's lead counsel, George Oraro. "Tallying was manipulated to achieve certain results."

The record 86% voter turnout was also suspect, he said, likening it to an election in a communist state.

The electoral commission has said its computer servers were overwhelmed and that it resorted to manual transmission of tallied ballots.

The official result was always going to depend on the manual tally, it says. The electronic system was designed to give a swift provisional result and avert the prospect of violence.

The commission has rejected claims of fraud and declared the vote free and fair. Its lawyers are expected to rebutt Odinga's charges on Thursday, the final day of hearings.

Most public manner

Also at Wednesday's hearing, a lawyer for civil organisations sought to annul the result on the grounds of fraud after the electronic system failed.

"The people who altered those results must be arrested and prosecuted in the most public manner possible," Kethi Kilonzo said.

Saturday is the deadline for the court to announce its ruling on whether to uphold Kenyatta's win or order another vote.

Both candidates have promised to accept the decision and many Kenyans insist there will be no repeat of the bloodshed that followed the 2007 election which left more than 1 200 dead.

Western nations are concerned about the fate of a country with which they have strong business ties and count as an ally in a regional struggle against militant Islam.

The US Embassy has warned Americans in Kenya to be on guard for possible unrest this weekend. Police have banned rallies and demonstrations to avoid violence - a move rights groups have criticised as a violation of Kenyans' freedoms.

Odinga alleges "rampant illegality" in the first-round vote.

Kenyatta, who is charged by International Criminal Court in the Hague with crimes against humanity over the previous post-election violence, says the voting was fair.

Western nations have said a Kenyatta victory would complicate relations because of those charges, which he denies.

His aides said the president-elect, the son of the country's founding president, was at a resort in the Rift Valley consulting with allies on the composition of a new cabinet and other positions if he wins the court battle.

Should Odinga win his challenge, it would mean a new election that would further unnerve markets.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Man who attacked US Embassy a 24 ...

A man who attacked the US Embassy in Nairobi was a 24 year old from Wajir County. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
US Embassy to remain closed Frida...

The US Embassy in Nairobi will remain closed Friday following a terror attack on it Thursday. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Leave ODM if you are unhappy, Rai...

Leave ODM if you are not happy, Raila Odinga tells Senator. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Former Assistant Minister joins J...

A former Assistant Minister has quit PNU and joined the Jubilee Party. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
DP Ruto intervenes as Kerio Valle...

DP William Ruto will visit Kerio Valley to try solve never-ending clashes between local residents. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM MP chased down by angry Kibra...

Kibra MP Ken Okoth had a hard time in his constituency after angry youth pelted him with stones. Read more...