Kioni: Why Azimio had no agents in some Mount Kenya polling stations

Jubilee secretary General Jeremiah Kioni. [Jenipher Wachie, Standard

Jubilee party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni has disclosed the reason behind the absence of Azimio coalition agents in some polling stations, specifically in the Mount Kenya region.

His sentiments come a day after the coalition filed a petition at the Supreme Court, seeking to challenge the 2002 presidential election results.

In his statement, Kioni said that agents representing the Raila Odinga-led coalition were frustrated and kept waiting for hours before being given access to the polling stations.

He adds that in some areas, their agents were completely turned away on the grounds their appointment letters lacked stamps.

“All our agents, especially in Mount Kenya, were denied access to polling stations up to 10 am. The reason given was that their letters of appointment were not stamped. Even after intervening with the top leaders and instructed to have them,” Kioni alleged.

“By 10 am if there was any stealing to be done then it had taken place. Most voters said the ballots were full all the time they were voting. Our agents in some places got access at around 10 am. Some places up to after midday and others ended up not accessing the polling stations,”

Kioni has also disputed the election results by the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

According to the numbers released by the commission, voter turnout was between 50 and 60 per cent.

“There was nothing like 55 or 60 per cent voter turnout in Central Kenya. In fact, the turnout was below 40 per cent,”

Moreover, Kioni has accused the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party of working in cahoots with the IEBC to manipulate the election outcome.

He claims that constituency Returning officers employed in the Mount Kenya region were allied to UDA.

“What happened in Mount Kenya was massive rigging which involved multiple rigging. The deadline to apply for Returning Officer positions was May 5 but gazettement of shortlisted names was done on April 28th,” the outgoing Ndaragwa MP said.

“This is how the people we wanted, were locked out. Chebukati gazette the names a week before. It was a predetermined outcome,” he added.

Kioni has also alleged massive voter bribery, an increase of assisted voters as well as tribalism in the recruitment of IEBC officials.

“For example, in Nakuru, out of all the Deputy Returning Officers in the county ten were from the same tribe. Only one of them was from Turkana,” he explained.

Kioni said the allegations he made were part of the evidence presented at the apex court by the coalition in form of sworn affidavits.

Two days ago, the Azimio coalition and seven others filed a petition seeking to challenge the declaration of William Ruto as president-elect by IEBC.

A few hours ago, the IEBC presented its response to the courts.

The hearing of the case is expected to start Monday, August 29.