EAC Observer Mission: Kenya's elections fair, credible

Head of EAC Election Observation Mission Jakayla Mrisho Kikwete. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

East Africa Community (EAC) Election Observation Mission says Kenya’s 2022 General Election was free fair and credible.

The observer group, which arrived in the country on August 1, to assess the level of preparedness of the key electoral stakeholders for Tuesday’s poll is set to conclude the exercise on Thursday, August 12.

The mission applauded the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for the successful use of voter technology in voter identification and results transmission.

"The situation was generally calm, peaceful, and orderly. Most polling stations opened on time, but a few were delayed for various reasons. However, we are pleased to note that the lost time was compensated for by the late closure of voting in the affected areas," said former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, who is leading the EAC Election Observation Mission.

Kikwete stated that the use of technology had increased efficiency and transparency in the electoral process.

The mission did note, however, that there were cases where voter registration using the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) kit failed in some areas.

"We recommend that the issues with the KEIMS kit be identified and the necessary measures are taken to improve performance in future elections," he said.

"The mission was pleased to note that political party and candidate agents were present at polling stations and were not incumbent in performing their duties," he added.

Kikwete appealed to political actors and Kenyans to continue maintaining peace after the results of the elections are declared.

“We implore all of you to embrace peaceful resolution of disputes that may arise from electoral processes. Fortunately, there is an opportunity to use courts of law, please make use of that avenue,” he warned.

The EAC Election Observation Mission is one of several electoral monitoring organizations in the country that oversee general elections, including Commonwealth Election Observers, the AU-COMESA Election Observer Mission, and the EISA Election Observation Mission (EOM).

With the exception of Kenya, the EAC Partner States' 52 observers are recruited from important independent institutions, civil society organizations, and institutions of autonomous governance.