By Vincent Ng’ethe
Kenyans are waiting anxiously to know President Uhuru Kenyatta’s successor. The presidential election results are expected to be released on 15 August 2022.
The country’s attention is fixed on the Bomas of Kenya, an auditorium that usually hosts traditional dances, but which serves as the tallying centre for the presidential election every five years.
While Kenyans wait for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, which manages elections in Kenya to announce the winner of the presidential election, false information has spread on social media.
A poster shared on social media has vote tallies for both Raila Odinga and William Ruto, the two presidential contestants leading in the vote count. Odinga is a former prime minister and leads the Azimio la Umoja coalition, while Ruto, who is the incumbent deputy president, leads the Kenya Kwanza coalition.
According to this tally, Odinga has 7,017,607 votes, while Ruto has 6,597,395 votes. It is supposedly a joint media tally with participation from Citizen TV, KTN News, NTV, K24 and TV47. Was there a joint media tally of the 2022 presidential election?
‘Media houses opted to do it independently’
In the 2022 election the elections commission has made all the election results forms for the presidential elections public. As of 14 August 2022 at 2:19 pm, 46,205 of the 46,229 34A forms have been uploaded on the website.
Media houses and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission have both made clear that there is no joint media tally. Mr Wafula Chebukati, when addressing the slow pace of vote tallying, noted that media houses had separate tallies:
“The original intention was that various media houses would join hands and have a consortium through Kenya Media Sector Working Group report on the progress on election results in real time from one source. However, the media houses opted to do it independently, which is per decisions beyond the commission’s control,” Chebukati said.
The election agency chief recognised that the separate media tallies would vary due to factors such as different times of accessing the portal, sequence of access, and resources, such as the number of people tallying.
Separate media tallies can be seen on media websites. There is no joint tally and the poster is false. Furthermore, while media houses and politicians can tally figures, Chebuikati made clear that only the electoral commission can announce the final results, and candidates should not declare results using their own tallies. “The results announced by the commission are the official results,” he said.