Ruto criticizes Raila over 'IEBC evidence'

President William Ruto with Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi, Speaker Moses Wetangula and Majority Leader Kimani Ichungwa during the post-election seminar in Mombasa County on January 30, 2023. [PCS, Standard]

President William Ruto has dismissed the opposition's sentiments on the conduct of the electoral agency.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga had, during a rally at Jacaranda grounds on Sunday, claimed that former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati and commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Mulu visited him before the announcement of presidential results.

Although he did not give details of the visit, Raila said he has evidence on Chebukati that he will release at the right time.

Ruto, who spoke in Mombasa on Monday during the 16th Annual General Meeting and Conference of Africa Prosecutors Association (APA), questioned the ODM leader's claims and the timing of the 'revelations'.

He said the evidence ought to have been presented before the Supreme Court months ago during the presidential petition instead of taking the issue to a rally.

“Some politician is alleging that members of IEBC went to his house and he is telling us five months later. What they went to do there at his invitation is yet to disclosed. You had an opportunity to bring the evidence before a seven-judge bench but you didn’t. Instead you took it to a rally. So I can see the difficult job prosecutors have to deal with,” said Ruto.

Raila, during the meeting at Jacaranda grounds, gave the United Nations and Commonwealth two weeks to investigate alleged electoral fraud he believes denied him victory.

Ruto has maintained that the opposition leaders are pursuing a selfish agenda.

Speaking at the meeting in Mombasa  that brought together prosecutors from 43 African countries, Ruto pledged financial support towards empowering the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODDP) in combating transnational crime.

He said that ODPP has in the past suffered due to political interference and lack of political goodwill.

Ruto said that his office has not and will not seek any favours from the ODPP in exchange for funds.

He applauded the prosecutors for the strides made over the years despite the challenges they experienced.

“We have not asked the ODPP to do any favour in return for funds. It is their right to discharge prosecutorial functions under the Constitution. No tradeoffs,” said Ruto.

The president said that the funds will ensure efficient fight against transnational emerging crimes, including radicalisation of youth, terrorism, money laundering and cybercrime.

He urged the ODPP to shift its focus to environmental crimes that include pollution, deforestation, logging and poaching.

Ruto said the rule of law, justice and law enforcement on the African continent is dependent on the prosecution’s zeal to stand up against impunity.

“The history of peace, security and prosperity in Africa shall have a chapter dedicated to the role of prosecution in faithfully stewarding sustainable development by safeguarding the integrity of our vital institutions,” said Ruto.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji said Kenya is at the forefront in fighting against transnational organised crimes.

Haji said that while globalisation and advancements in technology continue to foster growth and development across the world, the same is being exploited by criminal entities to advance their activities.

This, he said, hinders the aspirations espoused in the African Union’s Agenda 2063 of “a peaceful and secure continent.

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