NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29 – Opposition Leader Raila Odinga has insisted that Azimio La Umoja demonstrations are still on tomorrow scoffing at his erstwhile rival President William Ruto for castigating the protest instead of agreeing on electoral reforms.
Odinga averred that it will be a futile exercise for the nation to head to the 2027 general election and expect a tamper-proof election if the government will not engage in election reforms.
Odinga who has called for protest every Monday and Thursday to agitate for election reforms has maintained that he won in the August 9 poll.
“If we don’t rectify that which happened in the last years’ polls even in 2027 polls, they will repeat the same thing. What will be the need for Kalonzo Musyoka, Martha Karua, George Wajacokyah to contest for the presidency when their victory will be stolen from them,” he said.
Odinga told President Ruto to shun lamenting to the International Community over the Azimio protests that are pushing for electoral reforms among other issues saying other democracies have no jurisdiction in ironing out the issues.
He advised the President that the issues can be solved internally by paving way for a bi-partisan approach in the reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
“We have told the other nations to let Kenyans solve their issues internally.We cant be taught issues of democracy by the United Kingdom,USA or India.We are Kenyans we can solve our own issues,” he stated.
“There is no reason for President Ruto to go to Germany and talk about Raila.Come we talk in Kenya,open the servers we see what its in the server,” Odinga stated.
Even as the IEBC selection panel is currently reviewing the applications of 920 applicants who applied to fill the post of Chairperson and the commissioners.He reiterated that the reconstitution of the poll agency must be halted.
“Don’t create an IEBC body without us being involved.We must be enjoined in the process of creating IEBC body,”said Odinga.
The poll agency selection panel chaired by Nelson Makanda had set March 28 as the deadline for applicants to send their applications for consideration.
Out of the 920 applicants, 25 individuals showed intent to fill the post of Chairperson while 895 are battling for the commissioners’ slot.
“This is a good number because in 2016 when the Chebukati commission was being interviewed only 15 people applied and they had to do a re-advert where they got around 30 people. We are not worried about the applications of the chair,” stated Makanda.
The IEBC reconstituting panel maintained they will conduct the exercise of filling up the vacant commission despite the clamor by the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition for the exercise to be halted.
Makanda pointed out that the many applications by Kenyans were a clear sign that they trust the ongoing process to reconstitute the poll body.
“We have applications from all counties,it just tells you that there is confidence in the process.In as much as there is contestation about politics,somebody must do this job,”Makanda said.
“We must be able to constitute a commission in place and when politicians agree they can change the law and Kenyans will follow the law that will be put in place.We are faithful to the task,”he said.
The recruitment process follows the expiry of IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati, and commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu‘s tenure last month after six years in office.
Three other electoral officials including former IEBC Vice-chairperson Juliana Cherera, and commissioners Justus Nyang’aya and Francis Wanderi resigned last year following allegations of violation of the constitution and gross misconduct in the last general election.
Commissioner Irene Masit appointment was terminated by the President following a recommendation by a tribunal constituted to probe her conduct during the August polls.
The tribunal stated that the actions by Masit and her colleagues to disown the presidential results announced by the former IEBC chair amounted to gross misconduct.
“From the analysis of the evidence on record, it is our finding that Commissioner Irene Masit’s actions of 15th August 2022 of agreeing to the proposal by the two delegations to moderate the result of the Presidential Election to enable a re-run with the promise that there would be a reward if this was done amounts to gross misconduct on her part,” the report said.