26 September 2017

Kenya: Top Opposition Leaders Skip Protest at IEBC

Nairobi — National Super Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga and other leaders on Tuesday failed to join their supporters in protests calling for the removal of several IEBC officials led by CEO Ezra Chiloba.

Hundreds of supporters camped outside the IEBC headquarters chanting anti-Chiloba slogans, after he was accused of bungling the August 8 election that was annulled by the Supreme Court.

Some like Margaret Nganyi had vowed to stay put outside the IEBC offices "until Baba (Odinga) says otherwise. He is coming to make a strong statement to Chiloba."

It was not clear whether Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka failed to appear because their security detail was withdrawn (according to NASA) which would have left them vulnerable.

"We are equally dismayed by the decision by Jubilee to withdraw the security detail assigned to our Presidential Candidate the Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga and his running mate Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka. This is a dangerous precedent in bad taste and we want to tell President Uhuru Kenyatta that should anything happen to any of our principals, we shall lay the blame squarely on his shoulders," reads a statement by the NASA parliamentary group.

The NASA legislators did not also attend the demonstrations.

At some point, police dispersed the group after it turned rowdy using tear gas and water cannon.

Drama ensued after a rival group supporting the IEBC confronted those of NASA promoting police into action making University Way a no-go zone for both groups.

Anti-riot officers then dispersed those who were within other parts of the Central Business District.

Activities around adjacent streets were disrupted during the running battles that lasted for more than an hour.

- Bone of Contention -

Kenya is scheduled to hold a fresh presidential election on October 26 as ordered by the Supreme Court that ruled that the previous election held on August 8 was null and void.

While President Kenyatta has said he is ready for the election, his challenger Odinga has insisted on the need for reforms at the electoral commission - including resignations or sacking of some of the officials now under probe, arguing that they are bound to repeat the same mistakes that led to the cancellation of the presidential results.

Among his demands include the resignation of Chiloba and nine other officials.

Already the Director of Public Prosecutions has ordered police and the EACC to investigate Chiloba, Betty Nyabuto, Immaculate Kassait, James Muhati, Praxedes Tororey, Moses Kipkogey, Abdi Guliye, Moluboya, Marjan Hussein Marjan, Paul Mugo and Bonface Wamae.

Tobiko's move follows the verdict of the Supreme Court which nullified the presidential election on grounds of massive irregularities and illegalities.

"Undertake thorough, comprehensive and expeditious investigations into the irregularities and illegalities found by the Supreme Court to have been committed by the IEBC in relation to the presidential election with a view of establishing whether electoral and/or other criminal offences including corruption or economic crimes may have been committed by the officials or any of them and those who may have aided, abetted, counselled or procured the commission of any such crimes," Tobiko wrote to investigative agencies.

His instruction were directed to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chiefs Ndegwa Muhoro and Halakhe Waqo respectively.

Also to be investigated are NASA leaders Musalia Mudavadi and James Orengo - on accusations of alleged possession of unauthorized information obtained from confidential sources at IEBC during the tallying of results.


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