Jubilee accuses Wafula Chebukati of plotting to stop key poll

Former Tana River Governor Hussein Dado (right) joins Wardei traditional group in a local dance at Garsen grounds in Tana River County during a last-minute Jubilee Party campaign rally to drum up support for President Uhuru. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]

Jubilee Party legislators have accused electoral agency boss Wafula Chebukati of colluding with civil society groups to stop this week’s repeat election.

 Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot and Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa on Tuesday claimed a meeting had been held between Mr Chebukati and officials of some civil society groups to file a court petition this morning seeking postponement of the fresh presidential election.

Mr Murkomen alleged it was agreed in the meeting that the officials would file the petition claiming the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was not ready to deliver a credible election. The petition would then be backed by Mr Chebukati, who will recommend postponement.

Substantive evidence

“We are aware that there is a scheme that they have hatched with civil society groups. The civil society had a meeting with Chebukati and he has agreed to make an application in support of a postponement,” Murkomen claimed.

And in a veiled attack against the Judiciary, the legislators claimed some officers in the courts were working with National Super Alliance (NASA) to ensure the election does not take place.

They made these claims without providing any substantive evidence to back them and The Standard could not independently verify them.

The claims by the leaders, who spoke at Parliament on Tuesday, compounded unending manoeuvres aimed at stopping a process that has since put the country in a precarious position. Some have warned that it could plunge Kenya into another orgy of violence.

The MPs further claimed that NASA leader Raila Odinga was planning to parade fake pre-marked ballot papers today to support his claims that the repeat poll had already been rigged.

They attacked Mr Raila over what they termed “cowardly and evil schemes” to subvert the rule of law, but insisted that the poll would go on as planned.

Raila had said he would today make a major announcement to provide direction to his millions of supporters across the country.

“As a desperate last resort, Odinga has invested a lot of time, effort and resources to discredit the fresh election slated for Thursday, alarm Kenyans and make visitors anxious,” he charged.

“To complete this illegitimate and malignant scheme, Odinga has invested in printing fake pre-marked ballot papers as well as forms 34A and 34B. These are meant to support his hopeless claims of rigging. Because his withdrawal had no effect, he has now opted for a new cheap, imaginary and sensational scheme that the election is pre-rigged in favour of President Uhuru Kenyatta,” he added.

Cast doubt

Raila, while on a tour of Kisii and Nyamira, claimed some ballot papers had been printed locally to help Uhuru get more votes in an election that has split the country in two opposing camps of Jubilee and NASA.

Mr Cheruiyot claimed Chebukati and former commissioner Roselyne Akombe worked closely at the commission and could be working together to cast doubt on the credibility of the poll.

He said the chairman should stop flip-flopping and instead offer leadership at IEBC.

“He should tell us if he wants to resign. He has been flip-flopping because he is taking instructions from Raila,” he claimed.

Chebukati is on recording saying that he cannot guarantee credible poll on Thursday, citing internal wrangles at the electoral body.

This was against the backdrop of Dr Akombe’s remarks that the body was ill prepared to deliver a credible election when she resigned and fled to the United States. But Jubilee yesterday said they would defeat all the schemes by the Opposition to stop the poll.

“They will not succeed. They will be exposed. They will be defeated,” said Murkomen.

Mr Ichung’wa claimed the Opposition was determined to plunge the country into anarchy so that they benefit through a coalition government.