The East African Community (EAC) election observation mission deployed to observe Kenya’s general election held on Tuesday, August 9, has commended the Kenya Police Service for a job very well done. In the observed polling stations, security personnel were present and highly professional in the discharge of their duties and they did not interfere with electoral processes nor did they intimidate voters, the Mission reported in its preliminary report released Thursday, August 11. “The Mission commends the Kenya Police Service for a job very well done. Please continue to do the good work everywhere and for every task you are assigned to do,” said the Head of the regional bloc’s election observer mission, former Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete. On polling day, Kikwete said, generally, the situation was calm, peaceful, and orderly. “Most polling stations opened on time, but there were a few which opened late for various reasons including late setting up of the station, late arrival of polling materials or polling. However, we were pleased to note that the time lost was compensated by late closure of polls in the concerned polling stations.” Apart from the EAC Mission, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Commonwealth, the African Union (AU), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) observer missions also commended the country’s police for heightened security at the polling centres. Meanwhile, it is recommended that; Kikwete said, that Kenyas Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should take corrective measures to ensure that these deficiencies do not recur in future elections. Polling officials displayed high levels of competence and professionalism, he said, also commending the IEBC for the selection and training of poll officials and involving young people and women in the management of the electoral process as well as “the successful use of technology in voter registration, voter identification and transmission of results.” Use of technology, Kikwete said, improved efficiency, and increased transparency of the election process inspite of instances of challenges as some voters faced delays before casting their ballots while others were turned away after the Kenya Integrated Elections Management Systems (Kiems) kits failed to pick their fingerprints. “We recommend that the problems relating to the KIEMS kit should identified and the necessary correct measures be taken for better performance in future elections.” The Mission was also pleased to observe that agents of political parties and candidates were present at polling stations and were not encumbered in performing their duties. However, it was concerned that it was only the major political parties that were able to deploy agents. Appeal for peace Over and above all that he reported, Kikwete said the EAC Observer Mission appealed to all political actors and stakeholders “including the great people of Kenya” to continue to maintain peace after the results of the elections are declared. He said: “We implore all to embrace peaceful resolution of disputes that may arise from electoral processes. Fortunately, there is the opportunity to use the courts of law, so please make use of it.” “The EAC Election Observation Mission is satisfied that the way the 2022 Kenya General election was conducted on the polling day, the people of Kenya were given the opportunity to elect leaders of their choice, freely. We hope the subsequent processes will respect, uphold and reflect the will of the people of Kenya in the 2022 General Elections.” The EAC deployed 15 election observation teams to observe Kenya’s general election. The 52-strong EAC observer mission drawn from the EAC partner states and the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) was deployed in 15 teams that covered various counties in all the regions across Kenya. Kenyans voted, on August 9, in a high-stakes election that pit Deputy President William Ruto against Raila Odinga, the veteran head of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement. Ruto was trying for the top office for the first time. President Uhuru Kenyatta who is serving his second and last term has backed the candidacy of his own long-time rival Odinga. The latter made four previous attempts to win the presidency but failed.