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Raila Odinga won 2007 election, says SK Macharia as Mwai Kibaki disputes claim

Attorney General Githu Muigai (right) and media owners representative SK Macharia of Royal Media Services at Parliament Buildings, when they presented views on poll law changes to a Senate committee. [Photo: Elvis Ogina/Standard]

Royal Media Services owner SK Macharia, on Wednesday revived a 10-year dispute that plunged the country into chaos when he told the Senate’s Legal Affairs committee that former Prime Minister Raila Odinga won the 2007 presidential election.

And the reaction from former President Mwai Kibaki was swift as he appeared rattled by the claims.

Mr Macharia claimed he had evidence to back his claims that Raila won but did not substantiate his allegations during his submission on the contentious Election (Amendment) Bill.

Kibaki’s advisor, Marangu Marete, dismissed the media mogul, saying his utterances were careless.

“In his submission on manual backup to the Senate earlier today (yesterday), SK Macharia made preposterous allegations to the effect that Raila Odinga won the 2007 duel... Macharia further claimed he has evidence which he, apparently in his wisdom or lack thereof, didn’t present before the Johann Kriegler Commission,” said Prof Marete.

SURPRISED SENATORS

He instead offered to set the record straight since he had sat on the Kriegler Commission as a commissioner and advisor to Kibaki.

Macharia surprised senators and officials from various institutions who had turned up to present their views to the committee on the election process when he announced that he was in possession of clear statistics to back his claim.

“The one who was declared the winner in 2007 was not the winner. We tracked all the results through satellite phones and as per my records, Raila won the elections,” Macharia told the senators when he gave a historical perspective of why elections in Kenya are disputed.

He also said his media house conducted a parallel tallying of votes from all polling stations in the country, where statistics showed that Raila emerged the victor.

He urged the committee to take a key interest in resolving the shortcomings that have resulted in election conflicts as is the case in the debate about the electronic voting system.

Committee chairman Amos Wako praised Macharia, who appeared before the team on behalf of the Media Owners Association, for speaking candidly on past happenings, which he was part of as the Attorney General at the time.

Kibaki was declared the winner of the highly contested 2007 polls by the Electoral Commission of Kenya.

The disputed results triggered post-election violence which led to the deaths of more than 1,300 people and the displacement of over 500,000 others.

“In 2007, we tracked votes from every polling station using satellite gadgets donated to us by USAid and the European Union. We tracked the election and we have clear statistics of exactly how the voting went. The one who was declared the winner was not the one who won,” revealed Macharia.

The post-election violence landed some people in the International Criminal Court, which indicted President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and four others on crimes against humanity charges.

In the run-up to the 2013 polls, which President Uhuru Kenyatta won, Macharia was a member of the CORD Summit and said his media house would back Raila’s presidential campaign.

In his submission, Macharia stressed the need for Kenyans to know when things are not being done properly as was witnessed in the disputed polls in the 1992 and 1997 elections.

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