Presidential petition: National Security Advisory Council responds to Chebukati's affidavit

Joseph Kinyua, Head of Public Service and Chairman of National Security Advisory Council (NSAC). [File, Standard]

National Security Advisory Council (NSAC) (NSAC) has dismissed allegations that it was trying to interfere with the August 9 presidential election outcome.

In a replying affidavit filed at the Supreme Court of Kenya, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati named senior government officials he averred they influenced the presidential election outcome of the August 9 polls.

In a notice of motion, the NSAC chairman and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua downplay the allegations, saying the meeting was a routine during the electioneering period.

He avers they met and raised concerns over the delay in the announcement of presidential results, which had caused tension in the country.

"As the Chairperson of the NSAC, I am not aware of any resolution to contact and or meet the 2nd Respondent and or the Ist Respondent with a view to affecting the result of the presidential election held on 9th August 2022 on national security or such other grounds," Kinyua tells the court in an affidavit.

Kinyua also reiterates that NSAC had no role in the election process beyond providing advice on security issues around the election.

"These roles were discharged with a clear understanding that the Constitution and the Elections Act make detailed provision for the process of electing the President and the threshold for declaring a candidate a President-elect," he adds.

Kinyua swears he initiated a meeting between a team from NSAC and the electoral commission. He adds that the meeting was solely aimed at 'discussing security implications surrounding the transmission, tallying, verification and declaration of the results of the presidential election'.

"The Constitution dictates that elections shall be free from violence, intimidation, improper influence or corruption. In this regard, as the body charged with advising on national security, the NSAC had a necessary role in ensuring and promoting security around the election process," avers Kinyua.

When initiating the meeting, Kinyua declares, that it was not clear whether the results would be announced within the set timeline and if there were any difficulties or challenges.

He said that is what the meeting sought to establish because efforts to reach IEBC and Chebukati were futile. He says the chairman was unresponsive.

According to Kinyua, a meeting between the security council and the electoral body was not foreign.

He made reference to a previous meeting between the two parties a month before the election day.

Kinyua was responding to Chebukati's affidavit where he listed the names of the NSAC delegation that were represented at the said meeting.

They included Principal Administrative Secretary at the office of President Kennedy Kihara, Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai and LT. General Francis Omondi Ogolla, the Vice Chief of Defences.

In his narration, Chebukati stated that prior to the arrival of the team, he had received a call from the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua informing him that he had sent a team that would like to discuss "assumption of office".

The IEBC Chairman noted that the message was relayed by Kihara, who cautioned that if he declared William Ruto as the President-Elect, 'the country is going to burn'

He proceeded to indicate that skirmishes between the Kikuyu and Luo communities had already started 'in several slums including Kibera and Mathare' on the basis of alleged 'betrayal by the Kikuyu.