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Details of how Chiloba told off Chebukati over August 8 election

Details have emerged of how the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chief Executive Ezra Chiloba told off his own Chairman Wafula Chebukati when he tried to implicate him in the bungled August 8th election.

In a new counter-memo leaked to the public ,days to repeat poll, Chiloba chastised Chebukati for attempting to pin a blame on the secretariat, faulted his concentration span, belittled his IT knowledge and rubbished most of the claims raised in the initial memo.

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Chiloba’s response to Chebukati was the reason of his continued stay at the agency despite calls from the public for him to quit.

“The election was conducted by the commission comprising of commissioners and the secretariat, who by law bear joint responsibility. This explains why in the petition, both the chair and the secretariat personnel filed affidavits in response to the various allegations,” Chiloba began in his response,as quoted by The Sunday Standard.
Before he could dive deeper into responding to the 12 issues raised by the Chebukati, the troubled CEO questioned the purpose and intentions of the chair’s memo. He claimed it was drawn from a report or information which had not been availed for full review and analysis by the commission .
Use of Chebukati’s Password
On the issue of Chebukati’s login credentials being used to undertake 9,934 transactions, Chiloba threw it back to Chebukati, reminding him of a plenary where it was explained to him what would happen with his credentials.
“I have followed up the issue with the ICT team and the feedback I have is that they were also not fully satisfied with the level of concentration during the briefing. In essence there was a communication problem that must be addressed going forward,” he said.
Chiloba was referring to a plenary held on August 7th between the IEBC’s ICT team and the commissioners at Bomas of Kenya in which the election board was allegedly taken through the workflow of the Forms 34Bs.
He also reminded Chebukati of a July 25, 2017 commission meeting which approved the workflow and which indicated that two staff would be appointed to download Form 34Bs from the system on behalf of Chebukati since it was more of a clerical function.
“I understand the 9,934 transaction log activities are proper since they relate to normal access and retrieval functions in the context of the secure SFTP, and therefore, there should be no cause for worry,” he clarified.

Chebukati’s question on the switching off of geo-fencing and GPRS features was answered with a small lecture:

“First all, I am informed that GPRS and Geo-fencing features mean different things. GPRS means the 2G/3G/4G feature on the device. This feature was always on for the purposes of transfer of data.”

On the geo-fencing, Chiloba claimed that it was never part of the KIEMS kit requirement and that it could not have been switched off since it was never there in the first place.
Chiloba also took on Chebukati for alleged contradiction of the commission position with regards to the invalidated results. He said his memo to the commission secretariat and the chairman’s public statement at the same time served different purposes.

His was to “motivate” staff in the face of the Supreme Court verdict while Chebukati’s was to reassure the public that the commission was taking the decision with utmost seriousness.

“We are not aware of any massive failures of the devices. Indeed, reports obtained from Field ICT Officers show that deployment of satellite devices was a major success,” Chiloba said of the chairman’s inquiry on why Sh848 million worth of satellite phones were not used.

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On printers and scanners which allegedly failed to work, Chiloba too was blunt: “Based on the feedback received so far, there were no notable failures that significantly impaired the required process.”

A similar response was proffered on claims that 595 polling stations did not send results: “We are not aware of any polling station that failed or refused to send results to the commission.”

Chiloba, however, agreed with Chebukati that more than 10,000 polling stations transmitted text results without forms. However, he said the Form 34B’s were eventually submitted to the national tallying centre.

On alleged porousness of the SFTP system used to transmit the Form 34B’s, Chiloba was stubborn that they were never porous. Again, he lectured the chair on the unique features of the system in their technical terms.

“At no point did the commission recommend use of alternative mechanism such as IP address as alluded in your memo. I am informed by the ICT team that IP address system is a unique machine identifier and as such not an alternative to SFTP deployed by the commission,” he told the chair.

Chiloba also took on the chair on his other queries on rejected votes, validation of voters and network coverage.

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