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Stop inciting public, William Ruto tells Opposition

POLITICS
By Moses Nyamori | April 25th 2016
From left: Deputy President William Ruto, Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and his Mining counterpart Dan Kazungu during a Sunday service at St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Dagoretti South. [DPPS]

Deputy President William Ruto has accused Opposition leaders of inciting the public.

Mr Ruto said the Government would not allow mass protests Monday as they may trigger lawlessness.

Citing the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy’s (CORD) plan to storm the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Monday, Ruto said the 2007-08 post-election violence started with calls for mass action, adding that the country would not accept another round of political violence.

“Hiyo maandamano wanapanga ndio watu wamwage damu, hiyo ni ndoto (Their plans to hold mass protests so that people get hurt will not be tolerated at all),” said Ruto yesterday during a fundraiser at St Joseph Catholic Church in Nairobi.

He added: “I want to make it clear that going forward there shall never be violence because of political competition.”

Ruto labelled CORD leaders as people who have sensed defeat and were in a panic mode ahead of the 2017 General Election.

The Jubilee politicians told CORD to follow the law in their calls to disband the IEBC, instead of resorting to mass protests.

Senators Mike Sonko (Nairobi), Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), MPs Dennis Waweru (Dagoretti South), John Njoroge (Kasarani), Rachael Shebesh (Nairobi Woman Representative), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Mwangi Gakuyu (Embakasi North) said they were surprised by Raila Odinga’s demand for the disbandment of the electoral commission, saying he was in the grand coalition government that set up the commission. “I am surprised that Raila is saying IEBC is bad. It is him and President Mwai Kibaki who picked the commissioners,” said Mr Murkomen.

Ruto accused Raila and his co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula of always fighting the electoral commission and alleging stolen votes instead of preparing to compete with Jubilee.

He said Jubilee was prepared to defeat the Opposition with or without IEBC presiding over the August 2017 General Election.

“As Jubilee, we are ready with or without IEBC. The next election is already determined. Let the Opposition compete with us, not the IEBC,” he said.

He challenged the Opposition to unite the country instead of engaging in dangerous rhetoric ahead of the polls.

“Winning the next elections is secondary to us, making the next elections peaceful is our primary objective,” he added.

Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa accused the Opposition leaders of using their Saturday Kamukunji rally to incite the country against the electoral commission.

“We know what we went through in 2007, and we cannot afford to take that path again. It is unfortunate that the Kamukunji meeting was used to put the country on the path of mass action,” said the CS.

“IEBC is in place through the Constitution and I want to challenge the Opposition to respect the rule of law,” he added.

Political stance

Although the Constitution is clear on State officers taking a political stance, Mr Wamalwa and his Devolution and Mining counterparts Mwangi Kiunjuri and Dan Kazungu made political pronouncements in support of the Jubilee coalition. Wamalwa even used the opportunity to announce his plans to contest in the 2017 polls.

Calls for IEBC to leave office before the next polls are not just from the Opposition. National Council of Churches of Kenya has also told the commissioners to vacate office since IEBC had lost credibility to supervise another elections.

The council warned that the country risks plunging into violence similar to the one witnessed in 2007.

But Murkomen yesterday told religious leaders to preach peace instead of “predicting violence”.

“We do not want religious leaders to predict bad things for the country,” he said.

Mr Sonko claimed from the IEBC’s register it was clear Jubilee strongholds were ahead of CORD’s in number of votes, and that is why the Opposition has started crying foul.

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