Jubilee candidate in the Kibra by-election McDonald Mariga (third right) is joined by party leaders during campaigns at Laini Saba on Saturday. [David Gichuru, Standard]
ODM is now alleging a plot to rig the forthcoming Kibra by-election by doctoring the voters register. Party officials yesterday said the alleged scheme is being executed by top Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials in cahoots with some Jubilee Party honchos.National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi and Minority Whip counterpart Junet Mohammed claimed there was an elaborate plot to lock out voters believed to be backing ODM candidate Imran Okoth by deleting their names deleted from the voters roll.The Raila Odinga-led party accused IEBC of frustrating its efforts to get an updated voter register for the constituency for scrutiny ahead of the November 7 poll.
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ODM first made request for the register on September 20. Its officials say IEBC’s refusal to provide the document was part of the scheme to influence the outcome of the poll in favour of Jubilee candidate MacDonald Mariga.“With three weeks to the by-election and there being no commitment by the commission to provide the updated voters register as requested by the party, we are questioning the motive behind the hide and seek games we are being subjected to,” said Junet.He added: “It is this unwillingness by IEBC to conduct fair elections that breeds suspicion and makes us to start believing reports doing rounds of secret meetings with some Jubilee senior officials over the by-election,” said Junet.
Mbadi said it is frustrating that IEBC is once again involved in electoral fraud while still struggling to build its image following past electoral mismanagement.“It seems IEBC has not learnt from its past mistakes. The commission does not want to be transparent. We will go to their offices and demand for the register,” he said.
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This came as ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi accused Jubilee of using State resources to influence the outcome of the by-election.Mudavadi singled out Deputy President William Ruto saying hosting delegations in his official residence amounted to abuse of office.“We have seen delegations troop the official residence of the DP and we are told they are handsomely rewarded during the visits. This is unacceptable and should be condemned because it is an election malpractice,” said Mudavadi.Mbadi and Junet further announced ODM will today stage a protest at the IEBC headquarters in Nairobi to demand for the register from chairman Wafula Chebukati.They were flanked by colleagues Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay), Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), Charles Were (Kasipul), Eve Obara (Kasipul Kabondo), Walter Opiyo (Awendo) and Florence Mutua (Busia).
The MPs said failure to provide the roll was suspect and claimed it was part of the larger scheme to deny voters a chance to cross-check their details ahead of the contest.The Standard further established that the claim was first discussed when Raila met ODM MPs last week Tuesday.It is understood Raila was briefed on the said scheme as well as plan to have presiding officers, who are allegedly friendly to another party in the race, deployed.
The ODM Parliamentary Group consequently resolved to have the commission provide the register and names of officers they plan to deploy to polling stations.It was after the meeting at Parliament’s County Hall that the party contracted Rachier and Amollo Advocates to write to IEBC last Wednesday demanding to know why it had refused to provide the register.
Mbadi and Junet was accompanied by MPs Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay), Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), Charles Were (Kasipul), Eve Obara (Kasipul Kabondo), Walter Opiyo (Awendo) and Florence Mutua (Busia).“IEBC will face the wrath of Kenyans if it goes ahead an helps Jubilee to rig the poll,” Junet said.
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