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Inside Bomas of Kenya, the IEBC national tallying centre

Bomas of Kenya, the IEBC National Tallying Centre which has been turned into a fortress with military-type security deployed at virtually every corner. PHOTO |  DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Bomas of Kenya has been turned into a fortress with military-type security deployed at virtually every corner of the facility that will be the focus of millions of Kenyans for the next seven days.

The facility has been gazetted as the IEBC National Tallying Centre and had been closed to the public for the last one month for renovations to fit the specifications of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

Right from the gate, Bomas has become an access-only place, with those without the IEBC accreditation cards turned back at the gate.

Cars with no IEBC parking tickets are also asked to turn at the gate that is being manned by five police officers and five private security guards hired for that purpose.

Inside, five more police officers have created a barrier where they re-confirm the accreditation cards, before one is allowed in.


To get to the auditorium where IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati will make the all-important announcement of the winner of Tuesday’s presidential election is even harder and even more scrutinised.

All those accessing it are asked to offload all metallic contents in their possession, are scanned and then re-scanned by a hand-held metal detector before their access cards are checked again, all these processes by policemen supervising private security guards.

The access cards have been configured with a security chip that allows one to swipe through a grilled gate that has been erected at what used to be the large entrance to the auditorium.

Inside, the IEBC has meticulously planned the 3,000-seater facility to sit the guests who will be streaming into the auditorium from Tuesday when the results start trickling in.


Next to Mr Chebukati and the six other commissioners who will be on the hot seat and who have been isolated and their table and podium raised, will be the presidential candidates, their families and their chief agents.

Then there will be observers who will sit next to political party representatives.

The media, whom the IEBC has promised a dedicated 24-hour link to its live results, will have their own row and seats where they will be beaming live the events to the millions of Kenyans who will be waiting with bated breath after casting their votes.


There will also be spaces for IEBC guests, as well as its officials who will be swamped with work to collate, tally, before Mr Chebukati makes the final announcement.

The commission has also set a state-of-the-art media centre, with at least 50 internet-enabled computers.

Former US Secretary of State John Kerry termed as “extra-ordinary” the organisation of the IEBC after he visited Bomas and held a morning meeting with Mr Chebukati.

“The IEBC has done an extraordinary job to ensure that Kenya has a free, fair and credible poll. People will need to be patient, and we wish everybody well,” said Mr Kerry, who is leading the Carter Centre Observer Group.




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