Opposition accuses envoys of interfering with poll commission

Kenyan Opposition leader Raila Odinga speaks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC on November 9, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel Ngan

The National Super Alliance (NASA) has defended its decision to withdraw from the October 26 repeat presidential election and supports the petitions seeking to nullify the outcome.

The alliance has accused foreign envoys and the Government of running operations at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), which made it difficult and untenable for its candidates to continue being in the race.

Through an affidavit by NASA principal Musalia Mudavadi in response to a suit by human rights crusaders Njonjo Mue and Khalef Khalifa, the coalition maintained that the repeat presidential election was a sham and did not meet the threshold of a free, fair and credible process.

“The IEBC was held hostage by foreign envoys, who acted as their public relations officers, and the Jubilee government, which influenced every decision they made. We could not participate in an exercise that was already predetermined,” said Mr Mudavadi.

He cited US Ambassador Robert Godec and British High Commissioner Nic Hailey among the envoys who interfered with the electoral process and subverted the will of Kenyans.

According to Mudavadi, IEBC failed to act on several demands that would have made the process successful, including refusing to take action against the commission’s officials who participated in bungling the August 8 presidential election.

NASA has also cited the infighting within IEBC, failure to follow proper guidelines in conducting the election and intimidation of their supporters and candidates as some of the reasons that made the October 26 election a sham.

“After the August 8 election was annulled, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati promised investigations would be done and those responsible punished. This never happened and the same people who messed up did it again on October 26,” said Mudavadi.

He added that there was no way the commission could hold a credible process in accordance with the Supreme Court order of September 1 when some of its members were under investigation and should have stepped aside to avoid compromising the process.

Mudavadi said IEBC failed to address the illegalities and irregularities that caused the Supreme Court to nullify the August 8 election, and that nothing changed to make the October 26 election credible.

He further accused President Uhuru Kenyatta and his government of making it difficult for Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka to take part in the poll by not only withdrawing their security but also bribing and coercing NASA members to support his re-election.

“Uhuru executed an elaborate systematic policy to ensure the fresh presidential election would not be conducted in a free, fair and credible manner. He employed violence, intimidation and corruption among the Kenyan populace perceived to be NASA supporters.”

Mudavadi claimed the President and his Jubilee party brigade intimidated Supreme Court judges, including Chief Justice David Maraga, and unleashed police officers to reign terror on NASA supporters while administering oaths to Jubilee supporters to ensure he won the repeat election.


In addition, he claimed that Jubilee went on a vote-buying mission by bribing NASA candidates who lost in the August 8 General Election, among them former Bomet governor Isaac Ruto, former Kajiado governor David Nkedienye and former Vihiga governor Moses Akaranga.

“These actions did not signal fair play but corrupt enticement of politicians from NASA in order to sway them to shift their loyalty to Jubilee. There could be no valid and fair election with those clear (acts of) intimidation and blackmail.”

NASA is also accusing Jubilee of using illegal gangs like the 'Nairobi Business Community' to frustrate their calls for electoral reforms, and acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i of using police and outlawed groups to intimidate Opposition supporters.

He submitted that the election was flawed because the names of Raila and Kalonzo were on the ballot when they had officially withdrawn from the race, which should have forced IEBC to call off the poll.