Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Presidential candidate Raila Odinga is sending threats that August 9 general elections may fail to take place if the manual voter register is not going to be used. Raila is alleging that the electoral commission is planning to rig the elections in favor of the front runner, Deputy President Dr. William Ruto.
Odinga is arguing that failure to use the register will lead to vote fraud as Kenya Kwanza Alliance will sneak in pre-marked ballots.
“I am telling the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) that a manual register must be used alongside the electronic register in every poll station …and that is not negotiable… No manual register No elections” Odinga said.
His arguments are contrary to his 2017 demands when he was against the use of manual register. Odinga argued that reverting to manual register was going to favor his main rival (President Uhuru Kenyatta).
“Many countries have used biometric registration, electronic identification and electronic transmission without reverting to manual” Odinga said on 22nd December 2016.
His main competitor Dr. Ruto is comfortable with the deployment of the electronic register because it makes it easier to identify voters and prevent individuals from voting twice.
“We know what they are upto .. They want to sneak in pre-marked ballot papers in about 10,000 polling stations” Odinga said.
This not the first time the ODM leader is accusing the IEBC and his opponents of planning to rig elections. He has made vote rigging claims in all the previous elections including 2013 and 2017 when even called for the disbandment of the electoral body.
This time Odinga is heading to the ballot as a State project who enjoys the backing of the government and has also been endorsed by the outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta who is the Azimio Coalition boss. Odinga who joined Kenyatta’s government through a handshake deal in March 2018 and has since transitioned into a boardroom and hotel based politician who is sitting pretty and waiting for the ‘system’ to rig the elections in his favor.
His allegations are not genuine because he is now backed by the same government which he believes has the ‘power’ to intimidate the commission to rig elections in his favor.
Even Raila Odinga’s elder brothe,r Oburu Oginga is on recording saying that Raila will rely on ‘the system’ to propel him to presidency in the coming polls.
But the IEBC Chairman Mr.Wafula Chebukati has dismissed Odinga’s allegations and threats that there are no plots to print extra ballot papers in Uganda to rig the August polls.
“I want to assure the country that contrary to claims being peddled around; there will be no marked ballot papers that will be smuggled into the country from Uganda,” Chebukati said.
IEBC has insisted that the polls will be tamper proof as the ballot papers have security features which include serial numbers and specific polling stations.
“There is no additional ballot paper; we know very well that there is no 100% voter turnout. If there is any spoilt vote it will be accommodated within that number,” he added.
Odinga followers including Suna East MP Junet Mohamed are already calling on investigative agencies to probe IEBC and if there are any linkages between Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula and a Greek firm which won the ballot printing tender.
“This tender was cancelled by Public Procurement Oversight Authority before the court squashed the decision. Chebukati we know you bungled the 2017 general elections,” Junet claimed.
Odinga’s political outfit has always been at war with the electoral body before every election and Chebukati has distanced himself from Junet rants saying that tendering issues are managerial issues as he also delinked himself from claims that he met Wetangula over the same.
“The commissioners and myself are not involved in the tendering process. As a commission we know its election time and we are bound to misinformation,” he added.