Kenyan election results site crashes, body’s authority questioned

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC’s) website crashed on Monday during the release of by-election results for Kangema, Kajiado North and Ndhiwa constituencies, frustrating Kenyans who visited the site to view the results.

Internet users following the proceedings at iebc.or.ke/results expressed their disappointments on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter as the site was inaccessible even as poll results from the four constituencies trickled in. The site remained down on Tuesday.

According to reports, its is possible that a traffic surge caused the crash. Kenyans took to social media to express their frustration at the website downtime, which raises doubts as to whether the IEBC will be able to cope with the much larger elections in March of next year.

Isendi Linus Muchenya’s comment on Facebook read “update us on results,” while Biko Obimbo said, “Hiyo website haifunguki,” meaning the website cannot open or is not accessible. Maisiba Bravo said “crashed website.”

Marvin K. Tumbo, @marvintumbo tweeted: “The IEBC website is hosted on a server in some dude’s bedroom.”

Blogger Dennis Itumbi @OleItumbi said “This is one story we should all tell, First they posted wrong results on station results from main pg @IEBCpage.”

This is not the first time the IEBC site has crashed, withHumanIPO reporting in July that the site had experienced a similar problem.

A statement from IEBC said, “a sudden surge in the online applications for clerk jobs” was responsible for the site crashing.

“Oops! our servers are overwhelmed by online applications for VR clerk jobs. Sorry but don’t worry we are increasing the capacity. Meanwhile try, if you can, to log in at some less busy time- very early or late in the day,” IEBC said on their Facebook page.

The board had invited qualified applicants to file applications online for 2,900 registration clerk vacancies, to be in charge of biometric voter registration across the country.

Kenya has been prone to hackers. Just last month, the ICTBoard’s website was brought down, joining the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and government ministries whose sites were hacked earlier this year.

“We have learnt a lot, and since we are going to have six races in the general election, we will have to improve our systems for the better,” IEBC chairman Isaac Hassan had been quoted as saying.

He assured those doubting IEBC ability to cope with the general election in March. “They should know that we are ready,” he said.

The Kajiado North, Kagema and Ndhiwa parliamentary seats were won by Moses Ole Sakuda (TNA) ,Tiras Ngahu (TNA) and Agostinho Neto (ODM).

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