Investigate fully William Ruto's election rigging claims

Deputy President William Ruto in Meru town yesterday where he said he would pump Sh200b annually into various Industries to generate job opportunities for young people. [Phares Mutembei, Standard]

For the umpteenth time, Deputy President William Ruto has alleged there are state plans to rig next week’s elections. Yet every time he has made the claims, he poignantly pointed out that such plans will not succeed.

Lately, Dr Ruto has turned President Uhuru Kenyatta into his favourite punching bag, claiming Uhuru is the mastermind of plans to rig him out after the duo fell out.

But notwithstanding the bad blood between the president and his deputy, we cannot afford to sweep these claims under the carpet, and that is because, if true, they could plunge the country into chaos or cause discontent among citizens.

To ascertain the veracity of Ruto’s claims, the need for thorough investigations cannot be overemphasised. In truth, however, only Ruto holds the key that can help investigators scuttle such evil plans, if indeed they exist. If he doesn't trust local investigators, he can engage international election observers, agencies and even embassies.

Ruto has never failed to remind all and sundry that as deputy president of Kenya, he receives intelligence reports on a daily basis, and there is no reason to doubt him. Our take, therefore, is that such reports are not merely speculative.

For him to have publicly said there are plans to rig elections, he must have received irrevocable intelligence on the rigging scheme. We all agree and demand that elections must be free, fair and transparent, so that losers have no reason to cry foul.

If there is anything that can potentially make this country implode as happened in December 2007 following that year’s contested presidential election, that trigger should be defused as early as now. We cannot afford to lose innocent lives to mindless violence.

Crucially, in the event that Ruto does not have such evidence, and is making such claims so as to gain political mileage, he should calmly await whatever fate has been lined up for him, and other contenders in these elections. Given his social standing, Ruto is not just any other Kenyan, his words are taken seriously. For that reason, he should substantiate his claims or hold his peace for the sake of the nation.

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