Technology Helps Kenyans Reveal Electoral Registration Fraud

Digital Content

As Kenyans gear up for the presidential elections in less than 90 days, technology is proving to be a friend and foe to the many politicians embroiled in political musical chairs by changing alliances faster than ordinary Kenyans can comprehend.

It started with establishing a presence online for the presidential contenders. Indeed many were caught flat footed when statistics available on Social Bakers website revealed that Kenya has more than 2 million registered users on Facebook alone. Many Kenyans are now using the internet for entertainment as well as for alternative news and information.

The race thus began and many presidential contenders started opening Facebook and Twitter accounts, with no strategy or understanding of how to effectively use new media.

The Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in collaboration with the Registrar of Political parties published lists of party members registered in each political party on the IEBC website complete with a page where Kenyans could query the database of registered members for each political party.

It has now emerged that many political parties stole National Identification details of unsuspecting Kenyans and went ahead to register them as their party members. This was in a bid for them to meet the mandatory number of registered members per county before the given deadline.

News of this fraud broke on Twitter on Thursday 3 January, 2013 when Larry Madowo, a journalist working with one of Kenya’s leading media houses Nation Media Group tweeted that he had been illegally registered as a party member. Larry, a victim of this fraud by The National Alliance Party (TNA) whose presidential candidate is the son of Kenya’s first President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta confronted Uhuru Kenyatta on Twitter seeking an explanation.