Bomas of Kenya: National tallying centre's new status of highly-guarded facility

Bomas of Kenya.

Final touches inside the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi in this photo taken on Sunday, August 7, 2022. The Bomas is the National tallying Centre. 

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo I Nation Media Group

The Bomas of Kenya - the national tallying centre of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has become a fortress of sorts, with security beefed up around the area to restrict entry and access by the public. 

The premises can only be accessed by accredited personnel who have to contend with the heavy presence of security personnel manning the gate, together with sniffer dogs frisking all visitors before one is granted entry. 

Bomas of Kenya has played a host to various cultural events, political events, meeting and activities - all with relaxed entry. 

But for the last couple of weeks, access to the premises has been since been restricted after it was gazetted as the national tallying centre for the IEBC. 

Those seeking access to the premises now have to present badges accredited by the IEBC which have security chips that are scanned at the gate before one is allowed entry. 

Security at the main gate is currently being manned by GSU officers and private security personnel contracted by the commission. 

Other officers have also been placed in strategic places along the roads leading into the premises. 

Once inside, one has to again go through a second security check-up before they are allowed entry into the auditorium where IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati, the presidential elections national returning officer, will be keeping the country updated on the voting exercise and presidential results.

The auditorium

It is at the auditorium where Mr Chebukati is also expected to announce the winner of the election. 

The auditorium has also been organised in a meticulous manner and such a way that all those taking part in the election have designated sitting areas, all marked elaborately to distinguish all parties taking part 

At the main dais is the sitting area which will be occupied by Mr Chebukati and his team of IEBC commissioners, while political parties, election observers, diplomats and the media also have designated sitting areas within the auditorium.

The media also has a media centre - the nerve centre of media operations where IEBC is set to give periodical updates on the ongoing voting exercise across the country and also where journalists are expected to file their stories from. 

The centre is fitted with free WiFi provided for by the commission as well as computers to ease work. 

Broadcasting journalists have also set up broadcasting booths and tents within the facility where results, news updates and panel discussions are set to take place as voting and the tallying exercise continues.

Mr Chebukati is expected to within the day issue a statement on the ongoing voting exercise across the country.