Azimio la Umoja One Kenya leader Raila Odinga (pictured) returns to the country today, straight into a political storm kicked up by claims that there is fresh evidence to prove his 2022 election victory was stolen.
Raila, who has been on a tour of South Africa, is expected to land at JKIA at about noon before heading to Kamukunji grounds, Nairobi, where discussions around recent revelations by a whistleblower on the conduct of the polls will feature.
The meeting, dubbed by the coalition as a resumption of the People’s Baraza Forums has been dismissed by the Kenya Kwanza administration.
Speaking during a thanksgiving service at Kerugoya stadium in Kirinyaga county yesterday, President William Ruto claimed the meeting is a decoy by Raila to demand a handshake and join the government through the back door.
The president maintained that the polls were free and fair and that he would not be blackmailed or coerced to give into the opposition’s selfish interests.
“This country will never be a hostage of blackmail, coercion and intimidation at the expense of few people. The end has come, let them be satisfied for what they gained out of threats in former regimes,” Ruto said.
But the coalition’s leaders remain unbowed and have promised to reveal more details on allegations that the elections were bungled and Raila won with 57.3 per cent of the vote against Ruto’s 41.6 per cent.
Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni on Wednesday stated that revelations from an anonymous whistle-blower working at IEBC allege that outgoing IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati, Commissioners, Prof Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu, and CEO Marjan Hussein, provided questionable election results.
The Kamukunji meeting comes after the first one on December 7, 2022, where the Azimio leaders tore into the performance of President William Ruto’s administration.
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Azimio has appealed to the public to come out in large numbers and attend the rally where they are expected to declare the final presidential results of the August 2022 General Election.
Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, Makadara MP George Aladwa and Mathare MP Anthony Oluoch said Raila will be making a final declaration on the results to prove his election victory was stolen.
Addressing journalists after a meeting with Azimio delegates in Nairobi at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Foundation offices yesterday, the MPs said the ODM leader is going to demonstrate that Ruto did not win the last General Election.
“We cannot have election results in this country being auctioned every five years. We are going to exorcise the ghost of impunity at Kamukunji since we have seen our party leader being robbed of election victory several times and we cannot allow this to continue,” said Babu.
Oluoch said that if their rivals cannot accept fair elections it would be better to consider other options since it appears sections within the political circles want to hold onto the country’s leadership by all means, disenfranchising millions of Kenyans every five years.
Aladwa pledged that the Kamukunji meeting would be peaceful and asked the police to provide security.
The Makadara MP said that Raila will arrive in the country at noon and will be received by Azimio leaders at JKIA before moving around Nairobi streets and eventually heading to the historic Kamukunji grounds for the mega rally that will offer political direction to the country.
“Raila will be accompanied by his running mate in the recent election Martha Karua, former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Azimio la Umoja leaders, we ask our supporters to turn up in large numbers,” said Aladwa.
Azimio team has argued that the government had side-lined the needs mwananchi and had resorted to rewarding allies and those who lost in the previous election with positions in government.
President Ruto is on record praising outgoing IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati and his team for defending what he called an attempt to subvert the people’s sovereignty through bribes and threats.
The president alleged that there was a plot to kidnap and murder Chebukati during the last General Election.
The president and Azimio leader now have the uphill task of restoring public confidence and calming the storm around the election issue by providing credible evidence about the allegations dumped in the public domain.
The IEBC whistleblower claims that more than 1,000 unauthorised users were given remote access or full access allowing them to edit JPEG Forms 34B using Microsoft Word or other programs before converting them back to PNG or PDF and uploading them to the public portal.
However, Martha Karua has argued that the only way to get to the bottom of the election conduct is for IEBC to open its servers.