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Stop outrageous claims, CS tells DP Ruto over chiefs and leaflets

By Kennedy Gachuhi - Aug 3rd 2022
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i addresses the press in Molo, Nakuru County. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has dismissed claims by Deputy President William Ruto that some government officials planned to fuel chaos in some parts of the Rift Valley.

Speaking after a security meeting at the Mary Mount Secondary in Molo, Nakuru, on August 2, the CS scoffed at Dr Ruto's claims that he and Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho were meeting chiefs with a plan to use them to bungle the elections.

Dr Matiang’i said he chose Molo for the meeting following circulation of leaflets warning some communities.

“The allegations that people from OP (Office of the President) were behind this are outrageous. Eight suspects are in police custody over the circulation of the leaflets and none of them is a government officer,” he said.

“If I was not holding a public office I would have used strong language like the irresponsible politicians, but we must have adults in the room. The claim is as ridiculous as it sounds. Whom do they want me to meet?”

He said his meetings with chiefs did not begin recently, adding: “These are my colleagues. Telling me not to meet them is like telling the Minister for Health not to meet doctors.”

He maintained that the provincial administrators were not political, but must address matters like security and Female Genital Mutilation.

“I have told officers under National Government Administration Officers (NGAO) to ignore them. We are not politicians. It is NGAO that holds the country together at times like this,” he said.

“I will continue to communicate and meet them until the time we leave the offices we hold. Even those who will come after us, there is no way they will work without NGAO.”

The CS assured communities living in areas prone to electoral violence of their safety during and after the Tuesday General Election.

He said the government had already approved the deployment of elite units to the Rift Valley region.

“Kenyans should be calm wherever they are. We have enough resources which we shall deploy for ground and air surveillance and respond to any threat during the polls,” said Dr Matiang’i.

The CS, who was accompanied by the GSU Commandant Douglas Kanja, said the National Security Council had approved deployment of more officers in Molo, Kuresoi, Neissuit and Eldoret in Uasin Gishu and neighbouring counties.

He exuded confidence that the country will witness a peaceful election and transition, noting that only a few politicians were attempting to paint the country as one on the brink of war.

“Kenyans are having conversations among themselves. The garbage being spewed by politicians will not affect them. Kenyans are determined to be peaceful. Were it not the case, we would be having that information through NIS,” said Dr Matiang’i.

He added that intelligence officers have been deployed across the country documenting what politicians do or say to gather sufficient information to sustain a prosecution.

“Some think they will get away with what they have said after elections are over. Some of the crimes they are committing are not covered by statutes of limitation and can be prosecuted even if it is two years later,” he said.

The CS said the government will not gag the mainstream and social media, saying the Constitution guarantees the freedoms Kenyans enjoy.

"We are a mature country. We are not a makeshift government. We shall not be intimidated or get tempted to engage in activities that claw back in the freedoms of our people," he said.

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