After much backlash, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) hurriedly pulled down the error-laden results of the August 2017 General Elections, which the commission had uploaded on its website on May 16, nearly three years after the conclusion of the highly contentious election.
The 767-page document is strewn with errors and inconsistencies, from wrongly spelled names to the designation of candidates to parties they do not belong to, the publication of wrong jurisdictions and the publication of different winners from those announced in August 2017.
The data published by IEBC shows noticeable inconsistencies in the naming of some jurisdictions. As an example, Millie Odhiambo is listed as the MP for Mbita constituency, while later on, the document shows her having lost the position to Noah Odhiambo, but in Suba North constituency and not the earlier published Mbita constituency. Mbita Constituency, however, does not exist as it had previously been renamed to Suba North Constituency.
The publication of winners different from those IEBC announced in 2017 is one of the most prominent and confusing inconsistencies in the data.
For instance, in 2017, IEBC announced ODM politician Millie Odhiambo as the MP of Suba North Constituency. However, in the document published last Saturday, under the table of the results of constituency elections, Noah Onyango Odhiambo is indicated as the winner of the Suba North parliamentary elections, with 27,208 votes, against Millie Odiambo’s 65 votes. However, earlier in the document, in the table bearing the names of female MPs, Millie Odhiambo is listed as the MP for Mbita.
From the data, therefore, it is unclear who is the winner of the parliamentary elections between Millie Odhiambo and Noah Odhiambo.
In Kibra, the late Ken Okoth, who was declared the winner of the 2017 elections, is shown to have lost to Judah Oduor Okoth, whom IEBC says won with 66, 914 votes.
IEBC also indicates that Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie lost the 2017 elections, scoring 12,708 votes against the 55,675 votes of Dennis Kariuki, who is listed as the winner of the Dagoretti South parliamentary seat in the recently deleted document.
Another conspicuous error is the allocation of candidates to parties they are not registered to and the declaration of certain candidates as independent, yet they belong to registered political parties.
For instance, Millie Odiambo is listed as vying for MP under Amani National Congress, yet she is registered and is known to have vied in the 2013 and 2017 general elections under the Orange Democratic Movement.
On the other hand, Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie, popularly known as KJ, is listed as an independent candidate, even though he vied under Jubilee Party.
Dennis Kariuki, whom IEBC erroneously lists as the winner of the Dagoretti parliamentary seat is instead shown to have vied under Jubilee Party.
Even more surprising, the names of certain candidates are entirely missing from the document published by IEBC.
For instance, in the parliamentary results for Muhoroni constituency, IEBC indicates that five candidates contested, with Francis Ogot Ong’elle emerging as the winner with 50,080 votes.
However, in 2017, James Onyango K’Oyoo was announced as the winner of the Muhoroni parliamentary seat. Regardless, K’Oyoo does not even feature among the five candidates IEBC lists as contestants for the Muhoroni parliamentary seat.
The commission also makes spelling mistakes in the names of certain candidates. For instance, in the section with the names of the Members of Parliament, the commission writes Garsen MP Ali Wario Guyo as Ali ‘Wariyo’ Guyo.
In Mosop constituency, Nandi County, the IEBC data shows that Caleb Kipkemoi Tuwei, won the parliamentary seat, beating Vincent Kipkurui Tuwei, who is currently listed as the MP.
“The Commission has recalled the 2017 General Election data that was uploaded on the IEBC website after a few typographic errors occasioned by massive data were noted. The corrected document will be re-uploaded and shared in due course. Inconvenience caused highly regrettable,” read a statement posted by the Commission on May 17.
Typographical mistakes are typically mistakes made in the typing of an electronic or printed material. However, the errors made by IEBC are more serious, threatening its already questionable reputation.
Already, several Kenyans have criticized the institution for the faulty results, with most agreeing that the data put into question the credibility of the electoral institution.
Several Kenyans have opined on the faulty results, including former IEBC commissioner Dr. Roselyn Akombe, who hastily resigned from the commission unceremoniously and left the country
“At least you get to see what some of us had to go through. As I said to a friend of mine then, I had signed up for a pay-cut when taking that job but not a brain-cut, which was my daily agony,” Dr. Akombe stated on Twitter in reference to the erroneous deleted results.
Earlier this month, Akombe had promised to expose IEBC, as soon as she is legally unbound.