Truth About Standard, RMS Statement On Election Results

RMS, Nation Media Group (NMG) and other Kenyan media houses had been getting Form 34As from the platform

Truth About Standard, RMS Statement On Election Results
Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto. /VIRALTEAKE

A statement by the Standard Media Group (SMG) and Royal Media Services (RMS) with regards to the tallying of the presidential results in the 2022 general elections has been doing rounds on social media since Saturday, August 13.

The statement signed by RMS chairman, S.K. Macharia and ousted Baringo Senator, Gideon Moi indicated that the two media houses had tallying teams for the presidential elections based on Form 34A, with each carrying out their own tallying exercise.

RMS added that it has been tallying results of the previous elections from 2003 to 2017 (both rounds) and displayed the outcome on its screens for purposes of public viewing.

A statement by Royal Media Services and Standard Media Group on the presidential election results flagged as fake. /COURTESY

"After the polling stations closed on 9th August 2022 at 5pm and images of Form 34A started being populated at IEBC and the public portal, RMS had already integrated its own system to tally from the public portal. Every form 34A image that we have tallied has been stored in our cloud servers at Amazon.

"With the Supreme Court order you can download these forms 34A that we have tallied and using the link to view the forms," it claimed in part.

The statement added that the results of the forms as tallied had placed Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, ahead of Deputy President William Ruto, with George Wajackoyah of the Roots Party coming in third and Waihiga Mwaure of Agano Party following in fourth. Raila amassed 51.13 per cent against Ruto's 48.22 per cent, Wajackoyah's 0.43 per cent and Mwaure 0.22 per cent.

It concluded by stating that the results showing Raila leading the elections are based on the 46,229 form 34As downloaded from the public portal, tallied and stored at its Amazon server.

A fact check by Viral Tea has since confirmed that the alleged statement is false. RMS has had its own platform where Kenyans had access to presidential results as they streamed in, drawn from the Form 34As from the IEBC portal.

RMS, Nation Media Group (NMG) and other Kenyan media houses had been getting Form 34As from the platform, curating them before broadcasting them on screen. However, some media houses have been faster than others in transmitting results due to their capability.

"The figures you see on the screen will keep going up, some media houses are faster than others, some are efficient," Citizen TV anchor, Yvonne Okwara explained the technique of transmission, with punctuality and acute data analysis being the key to the different figures.

Her colleague, Trevor Ombija, seemed to have a different perspective as he showed off the station's capability to present figures more accurately and effectively.

"Some people have more data analysts and have state-of-the-art equipment," Ombija noted.

NTV journalist, Daniel Mwangi noted that their figures were based on Form 34As picked at random from all constituencies.

Each media house has an established data centre with teams working round the clock to process the results. This includes manually downloading Forms 34A from all the polling stations as loaded in the IEBC’s portal and tabulating them.

NMG on Saturday, August 13 had explained that it slowed down on updating the presidential results on its platforms to reorganise its resources used to count the votes uploaded on IEBC's portal. It added that it was setting itself up to count the Form 34Bs uploaded into the system and to allow its team to validate its data.

London-based news outlet, Reuters explained that Kenyans could not access the presidential results tallies on its feed on the Google Search engine since its team was involved in the tedious work of compiling the data and tabulating it.

"We are aware that the Reuters tally of results from the Kenya presidential election no longer appears on Google searches. Our tally is based on preliminary constituency-level forms posted on the election commission website and collated by our data team outside the country.

A screenshot of the Reuters presidential tally showing Raila Odinga ahead with 44 million votes. /KENNEDY WANDERA

"Reuters continues to report on the Kenya election – including providing updates on the commission’s preliminary and final voting data - in an independent and unbiased way," the media house's press team explained.

The disappearance of the tallies from Google saw social media users suspect that the media house was hacked after an initial human error on the results it had displayed.

Reuters and British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) are some of the media houses that have been updating their tallies on their platforms based on Forms 34A and 34B downloaded from the IEBC portal. Only the IEBC will announce the final results officially.