Understanding IEBC servers and why Azimio wants an audit- Experts

East Africa Data Handlers Managing Director George Njoroge (left) during the presidential petition at the Supreme Court, Nairobi. [David Gichuru, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja Coalition continues to push for a forensic audit of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) servers.

The big question on everyone’s mind is why the gamble, and whether the Raila Odinga-led coalition is simply playing a game of chance.

ICT experts on Wednesday, May 3, weighed in on what it will take to open the Commission’s servers.

East Africa Data Handlers Chief Executive George Njoroge explains that an election server is a system where information or data in regard to the previous election is stored. “This is the electronic identification of the voter and the transmitted data of the previous election.”

In the results or election server, there are two sets of data: The voters’ data that include who voted, where they voted, what time they voted, and which method was used to identify them as a voter, and actual log data which indicate time stamps and includes specific details one would attribute to a particular action.

Njoroge insists that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is still holding information that they believe is crucial to proving the legality of the 2022 General Election.

In an interview with Spice FM, the ICT expert said that the information Azimio la Umoja coalition is seeking was not presented in court during the petition to challenge William Ruto’s presidency.

“When the court gave us access to the server in 2022, we took about 100 screen grabs from different angles of the log. Only ten were presented to the judge. We believe that they were selected to miss out on critical details that were in the 90,” Njoroge claimed.

Njoroge, a cyber and computer expert added: “We want to access the information on the users who logged in, the time and date they did, and the files they accessed. This is because some users who had no verification had access to the servers.”

ICT lecturer John Walubengo however said that the only way to have the electoral agency servers opened was through a legal process and not demonstrating on the streets.

“When you want the server to be opened, there is a process to follow. Azimio can either petition the Supreme Court or ask for the information through the ombudsman. The Access to Information Act of 2016 allows a taxpayer to ask for any information from the State,” Walubengo said.

Their sentiments come on the back of Azimio’s second phase of protests, with one of their many demands being that IEBC servers be opened.

According to Azimio leader Raila Odinga, access to IEBC servers is the only way to verify the presidential election results of 2022.

On the other hand, the Kenya Kwanza alliance insists that they have no access to the servers and therefore they are not in a position to open them.