Elections 2017

Raila: We’re set to block poll rigging

NASA leader Raila Odinga addresses a rally at Rigoma Stadium in Kisii County yesterday. [Dennis Kavisu, Standard]

NASA leaders took their campaigns to Nyamira yesterday with just three weeks to the elections.

Presidential candidate Raila Odinga said they had come up with a strategy to guard against rigging and ensure high turnout in their strongholds.

Raila, who was flanked by his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka and Opposition chiefs Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula, held rallies in four constituencies where they urged locals to support the Opposition.

During the visit that came just three days after Deputy President William Ruto’s, the team told residents they were sure of victory in the August 8 General Election.

However, Raila said winning the next elections was a collective responsibility and called on residents to turn out in large numbers.

Adopt-a-polling station

Raila, who started off at Magwagwa shopping centre, where he landed before he was joined by his co-principals, stressed what the Opposition is referring to as adopt-a-polling-station strategy, terming it the surest way to guard against rigging and beat Jubilee.

NASA is seeking Sh410 million from well wishers for the strategy to guard its presidential votes.

The money will be used to pay agents who will be stationed at the 41,000 polling stations to ensure there is no rigging.

Raila has been saying the role of the officials will be to ensure only votes cast by eligible citizens are counted.

He also said they would deploy youths in all polling stations to help ensure registered voters turn up to cast their vote.

“The youths will also be actively involved in vote tallying on election day. They will keep vigil until results are declared,” said Raila.

This was Raila’s first trip to the county since his nomination as NASA presidential candidate and his clearance by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Raila tore into the Jubilee administration, accusing it of running down the country.

“The current government has perpetuated unemployment among the youths, unbearable food prices and stagnated development. They are also busy looting of public funds,” said Raila.

He added: “There are major evils being propagated by the Uhuru Kenyatta-led administration.”

“A young child grows, goes to primary school, moves to secondary school, qualifies for university and winds up his academics only to end up as a matatu tout because the Jubilee administration wrecked his future. These are the messes we want to bring to an end after August 8.”

Raila dismissed Jubilee’s development record, saying what Kenya was enjoying was the work of the grand coalition government that he headed together with former President Mwai Kibaki.

“All the projects they are bragging about were initiated by the grand coalition government. There is nothing they have done,” said the former Prime Minister.

Mudavadi took issue with former Tanzania Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, who has been said to be supporting President Kenyatta’s re-election bid.

“He should try and lecture Tanzanians, especially after his defeat in the last elections,” he said.

Wetang’ula, the Bungoma Senator, accused Jubilee of using the law of the jungle to govern.

He criticised Jubilee leaders over their recent attacks on the Judiciary. “Jubilee should stop blackmailing the Chief Justice. Their claim the President appointed him is dishonest and does not make sense,” said Wetang’ula.

North Mugirango MP Charles Geni accused Jubilee leaders of embezzling money set aside for compensation of Internally Displaced Persons.