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.
“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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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