Raila, Ruto in fresh Twitter war over 'Cherera Four' probe

President William Ruto and Azimio chief Raila Odinga. [File, Standard]

The war of words between President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has been taken to Twitter, for the second time in a week.

This was after President William Ruto appointed a tribunal to hear and determine the case against the four Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) who disputed the August 9 presidential election.

On Saturday night, the president took to his Twitter account, accusing the opposition leader of planning a coup to overturn the will of the people.

Without mentioning names, Ruto has reiterated that the innocence of the commissioners will be determined by the Law.

“Even with the system/deep state you lost the election. stop deluding yourself and lying. The coup to overturn the people’s will using rogue commissioners, you are now threatening us with [maandamano] demonstrations about, failed [sic],” Ruto tweeted at 10:49 pm.

“Their (the three commissioners') guilt or innocence will be determined by the tribunal. Rule of law it is,” he added.

At 11:34 pm, the ODM leader responded to President William Ruto by sharing a video of him from 2007.

President Ruto was a member of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party in the run-up to the 2007 elections that saw former President Mwai Kibaki face a stiff competition from one of his ministers, Raila Odinga.

“In Juja, the total number of votes is 85, 000 the president has 100, 000. This means 15, 000 people voted for the president only and walked away, as ODM what we are saying is that we want the commission to announce results that are authentic with supporting documents. Already the commission says they’ve sent a plane to get those results. We are told it will be ready by 3 o’clock,” Ruto is heard and seen saying in the video, during an ODM press conference.

The 2007 election was disputed, birthing the post-election violence that led to the late Koffi Anan coming to Kenya to chair a mediation process that birthed the Grand Coalition government.

The war of words between the two began on Friday, November 25. They engaged in an online war of words over the fate of the four IEBC commissioners who were being probed by Parliament over their suitability to hold office at the time.

At the time, Raila fired the first shot by alleging that the head-of-state was a dictator for inflicting injustice on the four commissioners; Juliana Cherera, Irene Masit, Francis Wanderi, and Justus Nyang’aya.

The four commissioners faced the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) on Monday and Tuesday last week.

Parliament recommended their removal from office. The president sent them on compulsory leave to pave way for a probe by a tribunal chaired by Justice Aggrey Muchelule.

One of the commissioners, Justus Nyang’aya, resigned as an IEBC commissioner.

The other three will know their fate after the tribunal completes its work.