By George Okello via UAH
I will never trust computer managed elections in Africa. These systems depend on the integrity of the individuals managing them. I can see in the IT network we use here in the UK for the NHS. We workers are just very tiny operators behind a screen connected to a very huge and complicated cyber and digital jungle- there are only a handful of people who really know how the system works and how to use, manipulate the data it contains and makes available for staff as well as for public consumption. These few key people, located at its strategic nerve centres, can do what they want with it. No one can stop them.
Digitally managed elections work in the developed countries because of two factors:
1. The staff managing elections are generally non-partisan civil servants with undoubted integrity and with no personal interest in massaging the results of the elections. Compare to Africa where money can buy anyone who is located at a key point in the delivery and tallying process.
2. The moral compass in the developed countries, the difference between right and wrong, has very little comparision with what that in Africa where people carry their biases to their jobs and will not hesitate to massage a situation if it benefits his preferred candidate- and will not see anything wrong with it..
You already know for a fact every Elections Commission in Africa is appointed by the government in power, and its primary purpose is to manage the process so that the appointing authority wins. Most Elections commissions act just like an appendage of the regime or the ruling party and do not even pretend to be non-partisan. Just look at the IEBC, even before the elections. The opposition had to take it again and again to the courts, even before the elections, to get it to clean up its system- a process it vehemently resisted.
The IEBC was a partisan agency from start to finish. Its Chairman, Chebukatti was appointed by Jomo Kenyatta just 7 months before the elections with a brief to deliver victory, but to make it uncontroversial and as smooth as as possible, using digital computer generated skullduggery. Unfortunately for him, his running dogs or field officers did not know how to use computers, and were so inept at cheating even a child could detect their scams.
Kenyatta should have hired foreign computer experts from London- the 16-25 year old hackers who are running rings around,and playing havoc with,computer networks and businesses here in the UK, and costing companies millions of pounds to protect themselves.
I think Kenya should just revert back to manual counting at the polling station and submission of the results to the tallying centres by hand. That would deliver a more credible result, although it would take more time. Or else, commission an independent western polling agency to manage the process.