IEBC Given 7-Day Ultimatum to Open Servers

  • A Kenyan citizen has written to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) asking to be granted access to the electoral body's physical servers and information stored therein failure to which he will institute legal proceedings to get the information.

    In his letter to Chairperson Wafula Chebukati, Mr Koitamet Ole Kina states: "I request that the information be provided to me within the next seven (7) days hereof failure to which I shall enforce my legal rights in having the information in your possession availed to me." 

    The information he seeks to access from the IEBC servers includes the Biometric Voters Register, KIEMS kits allocation in the August polls and their GPRS details, administrative logs and user access logs for the Results Transmission system.

    Ole Kina cites Article 35 of the Constitution which states that every citizen has the right of access to information held by the State and information held by any other person and required for the exercise or protection of any right or fundamental freedom. 

    He further cites Article 38 which enshrines voting as a democratic right and notes that the IEBC is required by law to put in place a voting system that is simple, accurate, verifiable, secure, accountable and transparent.

    The access to information can be denied if it meets the constitutional threshold of jeopardizing national security or in other such circumstances that may be harmful to the country.

    The Supreme Court, in the course of the hearings that nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's win in the August polls, ordered the IEBC to grant the petitioner (National Super Alliance) and court-appointed IT experts read-only access to their servers.

    IEBC officials, however, failed to comply with the order, instead providing pre-downloaded logs on a hard disk. This was one of the reasons the election was nullified according to the Supreme Court judges.

    Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu stated: "Our order of scrutiny was a golden opportunity for IEBC to discredit petitioner’s claims but they disobeyed the court order.”

    National Super Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga has maintained that opening up access to IEBC servers will confirm his claim that he won the election by 1.5 Million votes.