Raila speech after clearance: 'We trust the IEBC, are satisfied with media'

Raila Odinga was on June 5, 2022 cleared to run for president in the August 9, 2022 General Election. [File, Standard]

“The chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Mr. Wafula Chebukati, members of the Commission, the commissioners and all the other guests who have come here this morning (Sunday, June 5, 2022), we are very delighted to be here.

“I am pleased that we [Martha Karua and I] have been able to fulfill all the requirements set by the electoral commission. I want to say that we have confidence that the IEBC has the capacity to conduct free and fair elections.

“We therefore urge you to live by the script and do exactly what the people of Kenya expect of you.

“As candidates, we want to promise you that we are going to conduct ourselves in a manner that conforms with the requirements of the electoral laws and the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya.

“We want this exercise to be done in a free manner. We want Kenyans to be able to freely express their will on the 9th of August, [2022].

“We know that there are several players in the electoral processes. There are the voters, the candidates, members of various political parties and the fourth estate (media). We expect the fourth estate to play their role objectively.

“So far, we have no reason to complain. I have been in politics for a very long time. I know that the media will praise you or vilify you, but that is their freedom of expression.

“If you want to create a society where freedom of expression thrives, the media has to be allowed to censor, critique, educate or oppose.

“We also want the Kenyans to conduct themselves peacefully throughout this electoral process.

“We have seen some goons defacing our billboards in certain parts of the country. Acts of hooliganism are primitive. I want to urge our supporters not to interfere or to try to deface any billboard or campaign material belonging to our opponents. I am calling them our opponents, and not enemies, because this (general election) is just a democratic exercise. At the end of it, there will be a winner and there will be a loser, but Kenya will remain.

“Having said that, Mr. chairman there are few issues I’d like to bring to your attention, one is the issue of electronic identification of voters and transmission of results. What we want to know is, has the commission developed constitutionally-compliant protocols of results transmission path from the polling stations to the national tallying centre? When will the commission share the said-protocols with the stakeholders?

“The second issue that we want to raise is the integrity of the voters’ register. What is the status of the voter-registration exercise; on the county by county and constituency by constituency basis?

“Number Three, Mr. chairman, is the audit of the voters’ register. Is the preliminary report of the audit ready? If so, what are the findings? When is the final draft report of the audit of voters expected?”