The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the Kenya Media Sector Working Group (KMSWG) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to work together to enhance factual reporting on the electoral process and make democracy grow in Kenya.
The Kenya Media Sector Working Group, which AMWIK is a member of is a coalition of all stakeholders in the media industry was formed in 2017 to spearhead synergy in deliberating and getting solutions to emerging issues in media industry in Kenya.
The purpose of the MoU includes: capacity building; enhancing delivery of factual, credible and verifiable information to the public; promoting access to electoral activities including tallying centres and polling stations; providing resource persons on electoral laws, regulations and processes among others. IEBC will also provide a portal for the media to access election results real time to enhance transparency, accountability, and prevent disinformation and misinformation.
Commission Chairman, Wafula Chebukati, said the media had chosen the right route of being an ally to the Commission. Where information is unclear, he urged the media to consult the Commission. “Let us work together to make a difference in this country and make democracy grow,” he said. During the signing off ceremony, the Commission underscored the need to provide media access to all polling stations so that they may report the results at constituency, county and national tallying centre.
The Commission Chairman also noted that there were several activities lined up ahead of the General Election on 9 August 2022 including party primaries, nomination of candidates and campaigns, which media should report on.
Vice Chairperson, Juliana Cherera, underlined the importance of partners, specifically the media in providing a platform that empowers the Commission to deliver its Constitutional mandate. “In this game, IEBC is the referee, political parties are the players and the Office of Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) is the coach. Similarly, the media is the voice, IEBC is the content. Therefore, this partnership will make the voice have the right content,” said Cherera.
Additionally, Cherera noted that the Commission commits to give access to electoral information and expects media to be factual, ethical and professional in their reporting. The partnership is key because the Commission needs to deliver a free, fair, credible and transparent election.
The association was represented during the signing by Mark Rabudi, Programmes Manager.