President William Ruto's anxious wait as violence rocked Bomas

William Ruto is congratulated by his wife Rachel Ruto after he was declared President by the IEBC at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, in August 2022. [PCS]

President William Ruto had to ‘find something to do’ for three hours at Bomas to allow his security team to evacuate IEBC commissioners who were assaulted by goons to hospitals after the election results were announced.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati, commissioner Abdi Guliye and CEO Marjan Hussein Marjan were among the electoral officials who were attacked and injured when they left Chebukati’s office at Bomas to announce the presidential results.

The three could not leave Bomas for treatment since hawk-eyed armed security operatives in civilian clothes and goons were baying for their blood.

Ruto’s team was also not sure if it was safe for the President-elect to leave Bomas after getting wind of an alleged plot to delay announcing of election results.

“We have all the time, you can ask all the questions you have,“ Ruto told journalists on August 15 after the results of the poll were announced to keep them busy. Interviews with poll observers, police officers and IEBC officials showed that a security gap was created when administration police officers were withdrawn from Bomas thus leaving IEBC officers exposed.

The AP formed the inner layer of security at Bomas, the GSU officers controlled the outer layer and a special GSU rescue unit that guarded the three backrooms, which housed IEBC critical staff, was also withdrawn.

This allowed armed goons that had been illegally accredited to access the precincts and threaten  IEBC officials at will. Some were picked up at the Bomas gate.

Chebukati and his team were being profiled and openly threatened within Bomas, which was the national tallying centre. Chaos broke out immediately after ODM agent Saitabou Kanchory refused to sign Form 34 c and stormed out heading to the podium an hour before they announced the poll results.

Ruto was sitting in the backroom when he noticed the chaos across Bomas. Goons and plain cloth security agents had attacked IEBC commissioners who were going to announce the results just outside Chebukatis office. 

“I remember my Ruto saying wacha waniue, badala ya kuua watu innocent, then stood up and walked to the podium,” a police officer who was part of his security team narrated to The Sunday Standard.

Ruto’s security team feared that he might be harmed in the chaos, and had to take over operations at the Bomas podium. 

The security team then moved first to secure the place, only to find the commissioners’ security had been overwhelmed by goons and they were being assaulted. They secured the commissioners before securing the place.

IEBC Vice-Chairperson Juliana Cherera, commissioners Justus Nyang’aya, Irene Masit and Francis Wanderi left Bomas, heading to a Nairobi hotel where they disowned the presidential results about to be announced.

“Our rescue squad had done a good study of the place several times we have been there so we responded quickly,” the officer said.

The team working closely with over 20 police officers assigned to Chebukati also cleared the podium and allowed IEBC commissioners to announce the results.

 The commissioners, according to the testimonies in court over the presidential petition, confirmed that their securities were overrun. Chebukati said in a court testimony that the prevailing instances were meant to delay results.

The Standard
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