21 February 2013

Kenya: Kimemia Is Impartial, Insists Govt

The electoral commission has written to the head of civil service, Francis Kimemia seeking an explanation of their alleged involvement in election ... ( Resource: Kenyan Premier On Alleged Rigging Plot )

Nairobi — Government Spokesman Muthui Kariuki has dismissed demands by the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) presidential candidates Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka for the resignation of Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia over allegations of being partisan in the on-going campaigns.

Kariuki told journalists that the two should use proper government channels to make their demands arguing that doing so through the media was not civil.

Odinga particularly accused Kimemia of using bribes to woo politicians affiliated to CORD into ditching the alliance.

"If he has asked Kimemia to resign, I am not aware. The Prime Minister, being a member of government and knowing very well how government works, should have put that request through the right channels," he said.

"It would not be courteous to address the Head of Public Service through the press," he stressed.

He added that the government had established a team to look into allegations that senior government officers were being involved in the political campaigns of certain candidates.

Kariuki said that those found guilty would be sacked because they were breaking the law.

"The Inspector General will lead a joint investigation into allegations of involvement of senior government officers in partisan politics and urgently report back to the National Security Advisory Committee," he said.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Issack Hassan later told journalists that the commission had received a letter from CORD with complaints against Kimemia and Internal Security PS Mutea Iringo.

He said that he had requested the two officials to respond to the allegations.

Kariuki further urged politicians to stop making unsubstantiated statements to the effect that the March 4 General Election would be rigged.

He argued that such remarks should not be made without being confirmed by the Inspector General of police.

"In Public Relations we use the word 'claim' as allegations and we call it rumours. Government does not operate through rumours. I would ask all politicians to stop making alarming statements, on the elections, which could set this country on fire," he cautioned.

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) also separately urged politicians to desist from making unverified rigging claims.

NCIC vice chairperson Millie Lwanga said such statements risked balkanising Kenyans and dent their confidence in the IEBC.

"It brings back concerns of the issues that were being whispered about in 2007. And when you go round the country, people will tell you that the 'person who took my cow is still milking it'. So wounds have not healed and such statements are scary," she noted.

Institute for Education in Democracy Executive Director Peter Aling'o also expressed concerns at the said claims.

He argued that it would be difficult to manipulate the outcome of the elections because there will be independent observers documenting everything.

"If you undermine citizens' confidence in the electoral management body, you undermine the credibility and integrity of the entire process and when you do that you create a fertile environment for chaos and violence," he warned.

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