Media Council Intervenes After Kenyans Raise Concerns Over Different Presidential Results

  • Provisional presidential results of all four contenders after closing of election exercise on August 9, 2022.
    Provisional presidential results of all four contenders after closing of election exercise on August 9, 2022.
  • UPDATE: 7:21 PM: The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has intervened against the backdrop of discrepancies noted on Kenyan TV stations as they display different provisional presidential results.

    MCK noted that it was liaising with media owners and editors to find an urgent solution to synchronize results for Kenyans.

    "Media Council has noted growing concern on the different election results being transmitted by media houses.

    "The Media Council of Kenya is in consultation with Media Owners and Editors to find urgent solutions to this to ensure Kenyans receive synchronized results," MCK stated on August 10.

    Media houses in Kenya have been displaying different provisional presidential results since the counting of votes started on Tuesday night, August 9, following the closure of polling stations.

    With a day into the counting of the votes, the staggering figures on screens and websites from different media houses indicate that less than 5 million votes have so far been tallied so far, out of the 14.2 million votes that were cast on Tuesday.

    Royal Media Services (RMS)-owned Citizen TV, at the time of publishing this article, showed Azimio La Umoja flag bearer, Raila Odinga, leading with 2.4 million votes, closely followed by his main competitor Deputy President, William Ruto, who had 2.1 million votes.

    Journalists Yvonne Okwara and Trevor Ombija on Citizen Tv August 10
    Journalists Yvonne Okwara and Trevor Ombija on Citizen Tv August 10.
    Citizen Digital

    Each media house has been picking Form 34As from the IEBC portal and curating the data before projecting it on the screen. In this case, some media houses are fast than others owing to the number of tallying clerks. 

    Others have several layers of verification to avoid cases of stray or inconsistent numbers.

    Before signing off the screen after long hours of analysis and coverage of the electoral process, seasoned journalist Yvonne Okwara, in what appeared to suggest Citizen TV was ahead of other media houses, stated that punctuality and acute data analysis is what made their figures appear different from other media outlets.

    "The figures you see on the screen will keep going up, some media houses are faster than others, some are efficient" Okwara stated.

    Her sentiments were echoed by her colleague, Trevor Ombija, who said the station was well equipped to present figures more efficiently and accurately.

    "Some people have more data analysts and have state-of-the-art equipment," Ombija noted.

    On the other hand, Nation Media Group-owned NTV's journalist, Daniel Mwangi, said the figures are based on the Form 34As they have been picking randomly from all constituencies.

    "It depends on random Form 34As being used, but we can't declare that these are the final results," Mwangi stated.

    The slow-paced figures were noted by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman, Wafula Chebuka, during a presser on Wednesday, August 10, when he challenged media houses to move faster.

    According to Chebukati, members of the fourth estate should have tallied 97 per cent of the votes cast since that was the percentage of Form 34As that had been submitted to the Commission by the time of going to press.

    "It appears the media did not prepare very well, the actual figures should be at around 97 per cent," Chebukati stated.

    The IEBC chairman said some 14,164,651 voters had voted on Tuesday, August 9, representing a 65.4 per cent voter turnout. This is out of 22.1 million registered voters.

    According to Chebukati, the figure excluded voters who were identified using the manual register in select regions where the KIEMS kits failed.

    “From the kits that were transmitted, the voter turnout is 65.4%. This figure is will go higher once we compute the verification of turnout in areas that used manual voting. That figure will go up,” he said.

    Wafula Chebukati
    IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati along side Vice Chair Juliana Cherera and Commissioner Francis Wanderi addressing the Media at Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi on August, 5, 2022