NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 7 – National Super Alliance (NASA) Presidential Candidate Raila Odinga on Thursday ruled out any possibility of participating in the fresh presidential election slated for October 17 before all the concerns are addressed.
Odinga who was reacting to a leaked internal memo in which Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati tasks IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba with providing an explanation for the irregularities and illegalities that led to the nullification of the August 8 presidential poll.
He said the letter enumerated failures of the August 8 poll similar to the ones the opposition coalition presented in its presidential election petition which led to the nullification of the President Uhuru Kenyatta re-election.
“It is now evident that all stakeholders in the electoral process must come together and seek a consensus but you will hear our competitors in Jubilee Party shouting that we are interested in forming a coalition government or that we are afraid of facing them at the polls.”
“We are not afraid of the polls. What we are saying is that we must level the playing ground by removing the thorns and other barriers, we will participate in the poll once the conditions are met; anything short of that, Jubilee can play on their own,” he said.
In 12-point memo seen by Capital FM News, Chebukati has also demanded to know why Chiloba undermined his authority by countermanding his public statement that those staffers, whose failures – deliberate or otherwise – led to the nullification, would be held to account.
He said the memo by Chebukati vindicated NASA’s claim that fake Forms 34A were used to deny Kenyans their democratic right.
He said that NASA technology experts were able to discover the malpractice from the logs given to them by the electoral body which the leaked memo also revealed.
Odinga accused Jubilee Party agents of interfering with the election process saying they are not a fair competitor.
The NASA presidential candidate further said they will not be attending planned talks with the IEBC Commissioners following the damning revelations contained in the leaked memo.
They backed a reported intention of Chebukati to suspend several senior officers in the Commission Secretariat as an internal probe continues into their role over the mishandling of the August 8 poll.
The Kenya Independent Commissions Workers Union had earlier in the day moved to the Labour and Industrial Relations Court seeking temporary orders restraining the IEBC from suspending or sacking its Chiloba and other secretariat directors.
The Court however declined application and instead set the hearing of the case for the September 20.
“I have heard that the Court declined to grant that order. That means that they stand suspended and eventually sacked, that is the situation,” Odinga said.
“But even if they had for example gotten an order to stay that does not change our position because you know this people are guilty and you can see that from the direct admission by the Chairman, that these people very seriously tampered with the electoral process so they denied Kenyans what you can call a free and fair elections. We cannot go to an election presided over by this very same characters,” said the NASA presidential flag-bearer.
However, the embattled IEBC CEO tweeted on Thursday afternoon that he did not instruct anyone to go to court on his behalf seeking orders barring his sacking or suspension.