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1. Introduction

The National Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee (NACCSC) is established vide Gazette Notice No. 6707 dated 19th September, 2014. It is mandated to undertake a nationwide public education, sensitization and awareness creation campaign aimed at effecting fundamental changes in the attitudes, behavior, practices and culture of Kenyans towards corruption.

The campaign is mainly targeted at the members of the public to fully empower them fight corruption. Members are drawn from Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Faith Based Organizations, Women Organizations and the Private Sector.

As part of the discharge of its mandate, NACCSC strategically partnered with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and other stakeholders to ensure that the electoral processes resulted in a free, fair and credible election. On diverse dates in April 2017, IEBC was invited and participated in the anti-corruption radio campaign themed “Elections and Good Governance” transmitted through five radio stations on the topic “corruption and malpractices in the electoral process” reaching an estimated 18.1 million listeners weekly with messages that encouraged the voters to shun corruption in the elections.

The campaign sought to sensitize the voters to understand corruption, its types, manifestations, effects and actions that should be taken to fight and prevent the vice in the general election. The members of the public were also sensitized on the qualities of a leader of integrity, benefits of electing individuals that are not tainted by corruption, the corruption-prone areas and corrupt practices in the electoral process and their individual and collective role in ensuring the elections are credible and devoid of corruption.

2. Background to the Observation Exercise

NACCSC undertakes studies and research to gather information on corruption to inform the campaign and advocacy activities. To generate empirical data on corruption issues related to the electioneering process, NACCSC sought and was accredited by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for its Members, Secretariat Staff and the Regional Anti-Corruption Coordinators to observe the 2017 General Election.

Thirteen (13) NACCSC Members, five Senior Secretariat Staff and three Regional Anti-Corruption Coordinators participated in the Election Observation Exercise that began on 24th July and ended on 12th August 2017. The observation period covered pre- polling, polling and post polling day. Observers strictly adhered to the Guidelines and Code of Ethics for Election Observers provided by IEBC officials during the training conducted on 21st July, 2017.
3. Objectives
The Objectives of the observation exercise were to:-
• Observe the general election process and gather information for objective evaluation of the electoral process.
• Identify any forms of offences, malpractices and corruption in the electoral process for purposes of informing the development of future strategies for civic education and campaign against corruption.
• Generate empirical data to inform policy and continuous improvement in the Anti-Corruption Campaign and Advocacy activities.

4. Justification
Corrupt practices and various forms of electoral malpractices in the past have been perceived to erode integrity and credibility of the electoral process. Accordingly NACCSC having the mandate to cause fundamental changes in the attitudes, behavior, practices and culture of Kenyans towards corruption will be looked upon to provide intervention measures in terms of public education to curb incidents of corrupt practices during successive General Elections. There is also need to generate empirical data based on practical experience and actual observations during the General Election. Findings on corrupt practices/malpractices observed during the electioneering period will be analyzed and documented for purposes of formulation of civic/voter education and integration of advocacy activities for use by NACCSC and other Stakeholders.

5. Findings and Recommendations


1. Supply of Election Materials
It was evident in all the stations that NACCSC observed, that IEBC ensured timely procurement of election materials, equipment and services. Before the polling day the non strategic materials had arrived in most Constituency IEBC offices and on 7th August 2017 strategic election materials had been dispatched to all Constituencies and were being kept in strategic warehouses/stores (Mostly schools and IEBC offices and strong rooms) within the constituencies and were well guarded by the security personnel. Most of the materials, according to the officers, in terms of quality were satisfactory and the services were sourced through competitive bidding. All polling stations visited had a copy of registered voters posted at the door/entrance of each polling station.

2. Voter and Civic Education
In most of the stations that were visited there were indications that civic and voter education, though carried out, was inadequate. Civic education mainly focused on peaceful elections, ballot paper colour codes and the six elective positions and not on how and where to mark the ballot papers. Two educators in every ward were reportedly insufficient and basically the education and awareness that voters got was the peace campaigns. The local administrative structure (National Government through Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government) and other key stakeholders were not involved in the civic education.

3. Recruitment and Training

a) Recruitment and Training of Presiding and Deputy Presiding Officers
It was clear that the positions (Presiding Officers (POs) and Deputy Presiding Officers (DPOs)) were advertised by IEBC through the local dailies and the media and ample time was provided for the interested persons to apply on line. Selection process was fair and quite transparent, according to some of the candidates. Names of those who had been recruited as election officials were posted at the IEBC offices and at the gates of institutions where the trainings were being undertaken for all to see and check. Where they had not been posted, there was a lot of milling around and confusion which was not conducive for training. Training of Presiding Officers and Deputy Presiding Officers went on well and the facilities were good and conducive for the purpose.

b) Recruitment of Polling Clerks
The positions of the polling clerks were advertised by IEBC through the local dailies and media and ample time provided for those interested to apply. Since the numbers were high, management of the process was inadequate. There were allegations that those interviewed to replace those that did not take up their positions had the undue advantage since those who had been interviewed before leaked the interview questions which amounts to corruption.

In some areas, it was reported that some applicants complained that though their names appeared on the lists of successful applicants, they were not on the final lists of applicants who were to be trained. IEBC was not clear on the exact number of clerks they needed, leading to some being trained very briefly on the eve of the elections. This compromises the integrity of the recruitment exercise. Training period for the clerks restricted to two days was very short since part of the training time was largely spent in sorting out the mess. Simulation for all the election officials was undertaken well and where issues were not clear the IEBC officials were there to clarify.

4. Campaigns
Campaign rallies/forums were generally peaceful and public had the freedom to attend without intimidation, coercion or violence. All aspirants moved freely articulating their policies and manifesto to the voters. Major rallies were not evident except when the presidential aspirants were in attendance. Most of the other aspirants resorted to use of vehicle caravans mounted with music, motor cycle outriders, social meetings, media debates for different cadres of aspirants, door-to-door campaigns and in the markets. In the door-to-door campaign method, it was alleged that aspirants targeted small groups, usually opinion leaders, whom they met to map out the campaign coverage areas and then equip them with money and materials to distribute to voters. All campaign functions were provided with security and the media were free to cover the events, with majority remaining impartial. Religious Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, Peace Committees and Media Houses both mainstream and Local FM stations came out strongly in preaching and mainstreaming peace and unity during the campaign period.

5. Corruption issues
NACCSC observers did not record any incidences of voter bribery but there were allegations that some aspirants were dishing out money, distributing food stuffs and clothing materials mostly during the door to door campaigns. Destruction and vandalism of rivals billboards and posters were reported in some areas. Some cases got so bad that candidates had to resort to hire youth to guard their materials. Some immediate former MPs, Governors and Government officials were alleged to be using government vehicles, equipment and facilities during the campaign period.


1. Election Materials
Six ballot boxes and sealed envelopes marked President, Governor, Senator, Member of National Parliament, Women member National Assembly and Member County Assembly were provided in all the polling stations sampled. The rubber stamps, indelible ink and KIEMs tablets were available in all the polling stations. The personnel confirmed having been fully trained on the use of KIEMs. Each presiding officer was responsible in ensuring that all the materials required were delivered and adequate polling clerks had rehearsed and an oath of secrecy/integrity administered to all officials in the polls. In some polling stations indelible ink and rubber stamps were not sufficient.

2. Polling Stations Layout and Voting Process
The Polling stations lay out were well arranged and suitably organized ready for polling. Designated sitting area for observers, party agents and the media was provided. Most of the polling stations opened and closed at the designated times of 6.00am and 5.00pm which was commendable but no one who was in the centre was denied voting. Those that opened slightly late compensated for lost time after 5pm. Voter turnout was high with most polling stations resulting in long queues. In some polling stations voters started queuing as early as 2 to 3 hours before the polling station official opening time. The voting area in all the stations visited was free from campaign signs and posters.

Voters were calm through out the voting process. The identification of voters was transparent and the special categories of voters provided with special voting provisions. The colours of the boxes and ballot papers were not easily distinguished and IEBC officials had to guide and ensure that ballot papers were inserted in the correct boxes. There were no incidences of violence or voter bribery. Voters whose details could not be found in the KIEMs kit were identified using Alpha numeric (supervisor’s validation). Two booths per station were not only unstable but quite inadequate and some voters opted to use other open space to mark the ballots within the station. Agents of various candidates were present and well accommodated within the polling stations.

Most voters left the polling station immediately after voting apart from counting agents who remained behind to witness the counting of the ballots. Voting process took an average of 5-6 minutes while in cases where assistance was required; voting took 7-10 minutes. This identifies a need for a comprehensive voter education. The IEBC officials adhered to the voting process at the polling stations and demonstrated a lot of commitment.


1. Counting and Tallying
The counting of votes was transparent and seals broken in full view of the candidates’ agents, international and local observers. The presiding officers gathered all the agents and in their presence opened each ballot box starting with the presidential, Member of the National Assembly, Member of County Assembly, Senator, women Representative National Assembly and lastly Governor. All the spoilt and rejected votes were displayed and a consensus reached. Once agreed upon, party agents, together with the presiding officer signed all the forms after announcing of the results and resealing all the boxes. Votes were then counted results transmitted in accordance with legal procedures and IEBC rules and regulations. Results were transmitted electronically to the tallying centres by the Presiding Officers and in some areas, transmission took longer due to technical hitches. Elections officials were not harassed or intimidated by the party agents.

2. Security
Security personnel were visible and on high alert and not intimidating. Their presence in the entire polling period was appreciated by the public. Tension was high throughout the voting process and after declaration of results some areas experienced demonstrations.

On the overall IEBC put in place detailed transparent processes for voting, counting tallying and announcement of the results which is commendable.

6. Summary of Issues/Challenges

a) Civic and voter education drive were found to be inadequate as evidenced by many spoilt and rejected votes. Again this was clearly seen during the simulation and on the actual polling day where some voters did not know how to mark the ballot paper and in placement of the ballot papers in the correct ballot box.
b) Recruitment and training of election officials was done close to election day which led to confusion and replacement of those not available during the polling day
c) Limited supply of polling booths slowed down the process. The availed polling booths did not have adequate space and were not stable.
d) Some polling stations did not have sufficient indelible ink, rubber stamps and stamps
e) Most polling stations had long queues especially in the urban areas making the election officials to work till very late which impacted on the delay in counting
f) The colours of the ballot papers and boxes were not sharp and obviously distinguishable, leading to some voters placing their ballots in the wrong ballot boxes
g) There was exhaustion and fatigue that the polling officials exhibited during tallying and counting
h) The departure by candidates from the traditional public rallies method of campaigning to door-to-door constituted fertile ground for corrupt practices to thrive.

7. Recommendations

a) In order for civic and voter education, including simulations to inform/feed into the actual polling day election process, they should take place 6 to 12 months earlier to allow feedback to IEBC. Civic education should be undertaken on a continuous basis. Most voters were reached through public meetings and media which IEBC should consider using extensively. IEBC should also consider using the local administrative structures, NACCSC through County Anti-Corruption Civilian Oversight Committee and other stakeholders like peace committees and Religious institutions
b) IEBC should in future recruit and train election officials in good time before the actual polling day to ensure a smooth and fast electoral process
c) The number of polling booths be increased from two to four per station and be designed to have adequate space for marking the ballot papers and made of stable materials
d) IEBC to provide adequate election materials such as indelible ink, stamps and stamp pads
e) IEBC should consider increasing the polling stations to reduce the number of voters to be served per each station, say to 500, to avoid long queues and voting past closing time
f) The colours of both the ballot papers and lids of ballot boxes should be sharp, preferably primary colours
g) IEBC should consider recruiting another category of clerks to specifically tally and count the ballots instead of using polling clerks
h) IEBC considers partnering with NACCSC to develop and implement civic and voter education that will include awareness creation to address corruption and the effect it has on elections and the electoral process.

8. Conclusion
The 2017 General Election process was observed as being generally free, fair and credible for all the six elective positions. Where disputes arose, petitions were filed with the Supreme Court, High Court and Magistrates Courts for arbitration.