11 September 2017

Kenya: Raila - Nasa Ready for Polls but Concerns Must Be Addressed

Photo: Kanyiri Wahito/Daily Nation
Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga with former Kajiado Governor David Nkedianye (left) during a campaign rally in Kitengela, Kajiado County.

Kenya opposition National Super Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga has said his team is ready for the October 17 repeat presidential poll but insists the election must be managed by a different team from the one accused of bungling the previous one.

Speaking in Kajiado County, 80km South of Nairobi on Sunday, Mr Odinga also told President Uhuru Kenyatta to keep off the coalition's fundraising efforts, saying it is a legitimate way of mobilising funds for political causes.

"Even former US President Barack Obama raised money from ordinary Americans and won the election," said Mr Odinga, adding that unlike President, who prior to the August 8 elections, raised campaign funds among the rich, Nasa was reaching out to the common mwananchi who would donate as little as Ksh10 ($0.10).

The Nasa chief was responding to President Kenyatta's allegation that Nasa had resorted to fundraising, through mobile money transfer service M-Pesa, because their 'corruptly acquired funds' had come to an end with the defeat of governors like Evans Kidero, formerly of Nairobi.

President Kenyatta made the allegations on Saturday at a Jubilee rally held at Uhuru Park, Nairobi.

Contested

"There were no governors in 2007 and 2013 and I ran for presidential seat," said Mr Odinga referring to the two elections, whose outcomes he contested.

He accused President Kenyatta and Jubilee Party of having stolen the just nullified presidential elections.

"This time around we were vigilant," said Mr Odinga. He urged the people of Kajiado to turn out in large numbers and vote for him in the repeat polls.

Mr Odinga who spoke in Isinya and Kajiado towns said it would be improper for him to participate in an election overseen by the same officers accused of mismanagement.

"Mr Chiloba and his team are culpable of election flaws and they must face trial. There is no way we will allow him manage another election. Therefore, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta should stop saying that we are not ready for the poll because we will win with an even bigger margin," said Mr Odinga.

Flaws

In a memo leaked last week, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati wants Mr Chiloba to respond to flaws regarding the presidential election that was nullified by the Supreme Court on September 1, 2017.

The chairman raises issues on the acquisition of satellite phones, results transmission failures, creation of an illegal account bearing his details and why 595 polling stations failed or refused to send results for the presidential election.

He said individuals by the names Paul Mugo and Boniface Wamae, under instructions from ICT director James Muhati, presented a memo dated August 31, 2017 to the chairman's office through Mr Chiloba's office that confirmed the creation of a username account and a password in the name of the chairman.

He said the creation was malicious as it was done without his knowledge or consent and that the account was used to undertake over 9,934 transactions in IEBC servers.

Resignation

The transactions affected forms 34As, which contained data from polling stations. Other entries were deleted.

It is on this basis that Mr Odinga is demanding Mr Chiloba's resignation.

"We are ready for the repeat election. But our concerns must be addressed expeditiously," he stated.

And perhaps indicative of how serious they want Mr Chiloba out, Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi announced that their legal team has written to authorities in France to open charges against firms Safran and Morpho which supplied election materials to IEBC.

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