21 July 2013

Kenya: Ruto Defends Polls Body Against Cord Barrage

Baringo — Deputy President William Ruto has defended the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) against calls by CORD leaders to have the electoral body disbanded.

Ruto expressed outrage that CORD leaders were undermining the credibility of institutions which were created by the constitution, saying they are protected by the law.

Speaking during a thanks-giving ceremony held in honour of East Africa, Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie at the Kabarnet stadium in Baringo County, Ruto said whenever there were issues to be addressed, they should be done in accordance with the law.

He said it was hypocrisy for CORD leaders to attend homecoming parties for individuals who won thanks to the IEBC and yet they still criticize the body for inefficiency.

"There are some clauses in the constitution and if some people feel that there is a problem, then we should follow the law in correcting such issues. We should not go against the constitution," said Ruto

He said the Jubilee Government is ready to work with all leaders irrespective of how they voted during the last General Election, saying time for mere politicking is over.

"It is now time we stop engaging on who won and who did not win during the last election and instead concentrate on ways of solving the problem facing the people," said Ruto.

The deputy president at the same time reiterated Jubilee's commitment to implementing the new constitution.

He said that the Jubilee Government had met with senators and will soon organize to meet with governors on the need to accelerate issues of devolution.

Ruto said the jubilee administration will increase funding to county governments depending on how they have utilized the funds which have been allocated to them.

Commending leaders from Pokot, Turkana and Baringo counties for their concerted efforts in the fight against insecurity, the deputy president put on notice cattle rustlers engaging in acts of lawlessness saying their days are numbered.

He said the government has already deported some individuals responsible for drug trafficking to their countries adding that the next group to be dealt with accordingly will be cattle rustlers.

"The business of cattle rustling must stop. If they are here, they should take me seriously because this business must stop. We want mothers to sleep in their homes peacefully and children to go to schools without any fear," said Ruto.

Kandie promised to deliver her mandate as the Cabinet Secretary for East Africa, Commerce and Tourism so that she can prove her critics wrong.

Leaders of Majority Aden Duale (Parliament) and Kithure Kindiki (Senate) were among at least 20 leaders who included MPs, Senators and Women Representatives who attended the occasion.

Duale criticized CORD leaders who are calling for the disbandment of the IEBC saying they should familiarize themselves with what is contained in the new constitution.

"The chairman of IEBC Mr Issack Hassan and his officers are well protected in the constitution and those calling for their removal should first of all read what is contained in the new law before embarking on their mission," said Duale.

He said the composition of IEBC was instituted during the reign of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former President Mwai Kibaki and wondered why the former PM is now demanding for the removal of the officials.

The majority leader expressed optimism that the Jubilee government was doing its work of implementing what it had promised Kenyans during the last general election, noting that there may be no opposition to its leadership come 2017 because it was doing its work well.

He thanked the jubilee administration for ensuring communities which were marginalized by the previous regimes as well as the disabled citizens were given the opportunity to serve in the current regime in various capacities.

Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said the ongoing supremacy war between the National Assembly and Senate was tarnishing the image of the Jubilee Government, saying it portrayed Jubilee as insincere on matters of devolution.

He assured Kenyans that they are doing everything possible to ensure harmonious relations between Senate and Parliament so as to confront the challenges facing Kenyans as a team.

Nairobi Women Representative Rachel Shebesh also defended the Jubilee Government against accusations that it has failed to deliver on the promises they made to Kenyans 100 days in power.

"The Jubilee government is like a mother who has just delivered a newly born baby and should be given time instead of being criticized barely 100 days in power."

Baringo County Governor Benjamin Cheboi assured the residents that firm security measures have been put in place to contain insecurity occasioned by banditry and cattle rustling activities.

Speaker after speaker who addressed the occasion vowed to work as a team in ensuring that the Jubilee Government implements all the promises made to Kenyans during the last general election.

The leaders wondered why CORD leaders were still in the electioneering mood despite the fact that the Court of Appeal had declared Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy Ruto as having won the last election.

"Some leaders are still living in denial that the Jubilee Government won the last general election. They should be made to understand that the Court of Appeal had made its ruling that Uhuru and Ruto won the last election."

"What CORD leadership needs to do is to move on and support the Government of the day. Time for politicking is over and it is therefore time we deliver to Kenyans," said Cecily Mbarire, MP for Runyenjes.

The leaders called on the need for leaders' to work together in ensuring peace and stability prevails across the country.

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