22 July 2017

Kenya: Boinnet Asks Odinga to Get Facts Right on Officers, Not See Rigging Everywhere

Nairobi — Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet has explained that 42 police officers accused of being part of a scheme to rig out NASA flag bearer Raila Odinga during next month's election, are joining the National Intelligence Service.

He says it is the standard procedure for all officers leaving the police service to join the spy team to surrender their firearms and other belongings connected to the service.

"The truth is, they have to leave the service to join NIS. They are not involved in any elections at all," he stated.

"It is not a secret and that is what happened. None in the security sector is involved in the elections expect doing our job."

Odinga had alleged that they had been recruited as election officials to allegedly help in a rigging plot.

But the police boss says the officers are just transferring their service to NIS, which is a different entity from NPS.

Reacting on the same, Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi said security agencies will only ensure Kenyans vote in a safe environment without interfering with the electoral process.

CS Matiangi also instructed the top security chiefs in the country to ensure they act firmly against those likely to cause chaos.

The CS further cautioned that only accredited officials by the IEBC will be allowed to be around the polling stations.

"I want to urge you (police) to follow the law. That circular from the IEBC that says who will be at the polling station is what we shall follow and anyone who is not mentioned in that circular, should be removed from the polling station the fastest way possible and by all means necessary," the CS instructed.

"We mean business. Elections are serious business."

He was speaking on Friday when he closed a multi-agency conference to review the status of security agencies preparedness before, during and after the polls.

In response to the Opposition's Adopt a Polling Station plan, he said it is strictly the responsibility of the electoral body to protect the ballot papers with the help of security agencies.

"Every party has a right to have an agent everywhere in the country. The question of strongholds and so on does not arise. It is our responsibility to ensure that we protect those agents and all other electoral officials. But people who do not have legal status at the polling station should not be allowed anywhere near," he stated.

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