Raila Odinga dismisses his chief agent's claims on polls loss

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya leader Raila Odinga speaking during a consultative meeting in Nairobi on November 2, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya leader Raila Odinga has denied claims by his chief agent Saitabao Kanchory that he (Raila) lost the August 2022 presidential polls due to mismanagement of election agents.

Kanchory had said during an interview on NTV in early December that Raila lost the election to President William Ruto because some of his (Raila's) trusted lieutenants, including Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, mismanaged the election agents.

In some areas that were deemed to be President William Ruto's strongholds, Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya did not have agents.

By his own admission, Raila Odinga said "even if there were no agents, then it shouldn't be a license for anyone to steal elections".

"The electoral commission (IEBC) must protect the candidates' votes, and that's why they are given funds. It shouldn't be that when a candidate doesn't have an agent at a particular polling station, then his or her votes are stolen," Raila said on Tuesday, December 27 during an interview on Citizen Television.

The ODM boss, however, refuted speculation that he lost the presidential race due to the said-mismanagement of election agents.

"It's absolutely rubbish [when someone claims that I lost the presidential election because of lack of enough agents]. His (Kanchory's) work was at the Bomas of Kenya, and not the presidential election campaigns, or the management of election agents," said Raila

"Our votes were stolen at the tallying centre, not at the polling station. There was nothing wrong on our side. Our campaigns were the most organised," he added.

In the August 9, 2022 presidential election, Raila polled 6.94 million votes (48.85 per cent) to take up the first runner-up slot, behind President William Ruto 7.18 million votes (50.49 per cent).