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Raila: IEBC in secret pact with phone firms over poll results

By Eric Abuga and Edwin Nyarangi | May 18th 2017 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

NASA presidential flag-bearer Raila Odinga (right) and his deputy Kalonzo Musyoka address supporters during a rally at Gusii Stadium, Kisii County. [Courtesy]

The Opposition claims the electoral agency has signed secret agreements with three mobile phone service providers on results’ transmission. 

National Super Alliance (NASA) Wednesday alleged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had signed the deals with the three firms that would transmit to its tallying centre election results from across the country on August 8.

 Make public

The leaders demanded that the commission makes the matter public if indeed it had struck a deal with Safaricom, Airtel and Orange.

They questioned why interested parties were not involved in the deals.

Speaking at the Gusii Stadium in Kisii during the second NASA rally, presidential candidate, Raila Odinga and his co-principals,  Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetang’ula and Isaac Ruto, called for transparency in the deal, saying it was an issue of immense national interest.

The crowd that jammed the stadium refused to go away even after a heavy downpour disrupted Raila’s speech for nearly 20 minutes.

They patiently waited in the rain for Raila to resume his speech.

It started with a drizzle as Raila’s running mate, Kalonzo Musyoka, started speaking. But it turned into a downpour as Raila took to the podium amid beats of the song, “Yote Yabadilika.”

Raila looked at the heavy clouds and made as if to postpone his speech but the crowd urged him to continue. He went on with his speech as the multitudes got drenched in the rain.

“This is a show of solidarity. We have the numbers and will win this election,” said Raila.

The Opposition leaders said the agreement between IEBC and the communication companies should not be a secret and ought to be shared with other stakeholders in the electoral process, including political parties.

Mr Mudavadi said other political parties had a right to be informed on how the telecom companies would be working.

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati could not be reached for comment last evening.

When contacted, the commission’s Communication Manager Andrew Limo said Mr Chebukati would issue a statement today over the matter.

Second loan

The NASA leaders also insisted they would go ahead with their plans to establish a parallel tallying centre. They said the Constitution allowed them to do so despite objection by both Jubilee and IEBC.

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula took issue with President Uhuru Kenyatta with the recent signing of the second loan from China to fund the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto said the current Government doesn’t understand the issues affecting the common man.

“Jubilee has selectively paid IDPs while those from other regions that are perceived as NASA strongholds have been left out,” said Kalonzo.

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NASA IEBC Raila Odinga
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