, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 18 – National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale has lashed out at CORD leader Raila Odinga for what he has described as ‘frequent meddling with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) mandate.’
Addressing a press briefing at the Jubilee Party headquarters in Pangani on Sunday, Duale faulted the opposition chief for casting aspersions on the awarding of a contract to KPMG to audit the voter register, saying that the electoral body must be given room to work without interference.
“Day in day out we witness Raila’s unwarranted outburst against the IEBC,” he noted. “We want to make it very clear within the reading of Article 249, sub article 2 of the Constitution, IEBC is independent. It cannot be directed by anyone, by any institution including Raila Odinga – he has to make a decision between working for IEBC or being a player and leaving the commission to set the rules for the game.”
Duale, who was flanked by Jubilee MPs said the ruling coalition was confident of winning the next poll in a fair exercise, warning that any attempt by Odinga to micromanage the electoral body will not be tolerated.
“Raila Odinga has a history of disbanding electoral commissions,” he said. “He wants the system to collapse then go to court and say the elections did not happen so that he can ask for a grand coalition government.”
According to Duale, claims by the opposition leader that KMPG audit firm contracted by the IEBC to audit its registers had no experience in accomplishing that task was just but a mere excuse by the former premier to discredit the next election even before the voting exercise is conducted.
“What he is working day and night is for the elections to be disputed so that he can ask for nusu mkate governmet, we have told him time and again that that era is gone.”
Challenging Odinga to desist from issuing reckless statements, Duale said the sentiments by the CORD co-principal depicted the “state of panic” in which the opposition was in, asking him to, “use your last bullet – if it cannot work, hang your political boots,” adding: “ It is not a must that you (Odinga) rule this country.”
“The audit firm (KPMG) does not have the experience required to do the voter register audit,” said Odinga in a joint press conference with Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi on Friday.
The duo questioned the credibility of the audit process sanctioned by Parliament as a result of findings by a 14-member Joint Parliamentary Select Committee which reached a consensus allowing an audit of the voter register instead of fresh registration of voters as had been proposed by the opposition side of the committee.