Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Sunday, 03 Sep 2017 18:35 EATjonyando@kenyafreepress.com
Opposition leaders this afternoon made their position about their demanded reforms in the electoral commission clear, stating that IEBC chief executive officer Ezra Chiloba, a slew of secretariat managers and top regional officers and constituency returning officers have to leave office immediately before the commission conducts fresh presidential elections.
NASA deputy president Kalonzo Musyoka said at the coalition's first rally in Nairobi since Friday's Supreme Court ruling that the commission's chairman Wafula Chebukati should ensure that Chiloba and the top officials who took part in rigging the nullified election are shown the door in order for the commission to redeem its image.
"At our last rally at the Uhuru Park on August 3, I stated categorically that Chiloba was working in cahoots with corrupt elements in the government who were scheming to rig the election. We have seen what he did and we can't go into another election with him," Kalonzo said at Masinde Muliro Grounds in Mathare, accompanied by Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and other top NASA leaders.
Embakasi East MP Babu Owino said Chiloba and the other officials NASA has singled out for taking part in the rigging have to leave office within five days, failure of which the coalition will mobilise its members to forcefully eject them from office.
The coalition's second condition was on the printing of ballot papers, where Mudavadi said the commission should stop its relationship with the Al Ghurair printing company of Dubai that NASA had opposed even before the election. "My message to Chebukati is one. We warned you against this company and you have seen what they did. They printed excess ballot papers and fake Forms without watermarks. We don't want to hear anything about about Al Ghurair again," Mudavadi said.
The third NASA condition was the sacking of constituency returning officers that the coalition said were hired specifically to rig the election. Raila said some of the constituency officers were serving intelligence and police officers. He urged civil servants, in particular police, intelligence and military officers, to keep away from politics.
Raila claimed that NASA had "full information" that retired chief of the defence forces Julius Karangi had helped set up a data server that was used to channel the results of the rigged election to the IEBC portal. "Those results were not from IEBC," he said, and urged military officers to reject overtures by Jubilee leaders to involve them in politics.
The coalition's last demand was that technology deployed for the election must work. Mudavadi said that the killing of former IEBC ICT director Chris Msando was planned by those who plotted to rig the election. He said that all the manual processes of the election went well until Chiloba and other officers complicit in the rigging began to mess up the election.
The leaders said that the election would be an easy one for their agents to protect the vote. Governor Joho said that elected NASA leaders would stand for NASA in President Uhuru Kenyatta's Central Kenya backyard to ensure no votes were stuffed there. Joho said he would personally oversee vote counting in Nyeri County, and promised that other leaders MPs Babu Owino and Simba Arati will oversee constituencies in Kiambu County.
At the same time, NASA said they would petition foreign governments to investigate the conduct of multinationals that had contracts for services with the IEBC in the election. "The multinationals involved in this election must come clean on their role. Specifically, Safran which had the responsibility of providing technology must explain why it participated in rigging the election. We want to find out from regulators in France whether it is right that a French company is engaged in subverting democracy in this country," Mudavadi said.
"We all know that Chris Msando (the assassinated ICT director) died because of technology. Our votes were rigged because of technology. People died in the violence that followed the election. Safran was complicit in the killings and it must be bought to account," he said.
All the NASA principals condemned President Uhuru Kenyatta's incessant attacks on the Supreme Court judges, with Raila and Moses Wetangula urging the president to stay calm. "The president should address Kenyans only when he is sober," Raila said.
Others who addressed the rally included Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana, Women Representatives Florence Mutua (Busia), Esther Passaris (Nairobi), Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay) and several MPs including Babu Owino, Simba Arati (Dagoretti North) and the host Anthony Oluoch.