IEBC must learn from election failures or perish

That the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) made an almighty mess of its pledge to run a smooth and technologically sleek election has been universally acknowledged since the first accounts of failure after technological failure on March 4.

The only question in recent days was who was responsible for which embarrassing failures that stained our national reputation and cast a long shadow over the outcome of an election best remembered for the enthusiasm and patience of the voters.

It will come as a shock to millions of Kenyan voters, thanks to a new technical report to be released tomorrow, that the IEBC was so ill-prepared from a technological point of view that the computer systems expected to transmit election results were being installed on March 3.

As a result, says the damning report prepared by the firm contracted to assess, test and support the Electronic Results Transmission (ERT) System, the infrastructure was not even tested before use on March 4.  As for the failures in the counties, they were so numerous and some so basic as to be bear repeating here. It’s clear for all to see that the IEBC set itself up for failure on a monumental scale.

If half of this detailed report is true, and there is no apparent reason to believe otherwise, then Ahmed Issack Hassan and his IEBC have many questions to answer.

And it goes well beyond the kind of answers given by Hassan last week, acknowledging failure in the same breath, as he appeared to paper over the monumental failure.

 What Kenya needs and the IEBC must now deliver is a ruthless root and branch review of the management of this commission before billions of shillings more and the entire reputation of our country Kenya is placed under their care again.

The sooner that is done, the better.