NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 5 – A Non-Governmental Organisation is challenging the integrity threshold and suitability of Opposition leader Raila Odinga to contest the presidency.
According to Human Rights Africa, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should conduct thorough investigations to determine if Odinga meets the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution on Leadership and Integrity before clearing him.
“We wish to move the IEBC to conduct thorough investigations with the aim of determining if Hon Raila Amolo Odinga satisfies the provisions of Chapter Six on Leadership and Integrity to vie for the Office of the President of the Republic of Kenya,” the organisation says in its suit papers.
Odinga is seen as the front-runner among four candidates in the National Super Alliance (NASA) likely to be on the ballot in the August General Election.
“We also wish to beseech your office in keeping with your constitutional mandate to investigate various cases of misappropriation of public funds, trust and abuse of office where Hon Raila Odinga is heavily mentioned and is allegedly involved in,” it states.
The organisation’s Chief Executive Officer Derrick Malika stated that that the Opposition leader has been adversely mentioned in scandals that placed his integrity into question – including recent complaints raised by the proprietor of Dominion Farms Ltd, Calvin Burgess, who accused him of extortion and harassment after declining to fund his political activities.
“It was recently brought to the attention of the public the alleged extortion by Hon Raila Odinga and his cohorts of Mr Calvin Burgess, the head of the Dominion farm Ltd. Mr Burgess has written to the Inspector General of Police seeking protection against goons hired by Hon Odinga and his cohorts to frustrate him,” Malika said.
He further cited other scandals where Odinga is mentioned and this includes the Kisumu Molasses Plant, Kazi Kwa Vijana, the maize and Triton scandals.
Malika also stressed the need for the IEBC to look into the educational qualifications of Odinga.
“The Elections Act No 24 of 2011 at section 22(2) requires a person seeking election to the office of the President of the Republic of Kenya to be a holder of a degree from a recognised university. Mr Odinga claims that he attended University in the years 1965 -1970 to study an MSc Mechanical Engineering (Production Technology) in Magdeburg (Now Otto Von Gericke University), German Democratic Republic but has since been unable to produce any documentation to support this,” he said.
“So far, he has only produced a certificate required in the years 1962 – 1965, Certificate of Higher Education, Herder Institute, Leipzig, German Democratic Republic, with competence in German language. The lack of clarity emanates from the fact that the Otto Von Guericke University Magdeburg, the University Mr Odinga claims he attended only became a university in October 3, 1993 and hence could not have conferred a degree in 1970,” he stated.
He observed that other areas of interest for the IEBC to conduct investigations include the alleged involvement of Odinga in the Greenfield JKIA expansion project and the NHIF scandal through his close ally, Anyang, Nyong’o.
He stressed that there are serious questions of integrity over the education and financial transparency of a possible presidential candidate.
“It is our complaint that the IEBC probe the above and other incidental allegations against Odinga and make the findings of such a probe public as a matter of general public concern and interest,” he stated.