NASA now asks UK to intervene as poll rigging claims escalate

The National Super Alliance has now written to the British government to intervene as claims that Jubilee plans to rig the August 8 poll escalated Saturday.

The latest twist in the election saga came after the Opposition outfit lost two court cases against the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) this week.

The letter to British High Commissioner Nic Hailey is a culmination of exchanges between NASA and Jubilee on the role of security agencies in the coming elections.

Whereas Jubilee has insisted that officers need to be trained and deployed to different formations, NASA argues they will be used to interfere with the elections.

Summoned

The IEBC, which has been quiet throughout the contestations, has now summoned all presidential candidates and their senior party officials to a meeting on Wednesday to discuss security matters.

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“I have invited presidential candidates/their senior party officials on Wednesday 26 to discuss security arrangements in place for the General Election,” IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati told the Sunday Standard yesterday.

Some of the State agencies accused by NASA of planning to rig the elections at the behest of the Jubilee regime denied the claims.

“We write to you as a genuine friend of Kenya and ask you to initiate dialogue with the Government of Kenya, urging them to desist from this misuse of our security agencies and stop further poisoning the electoral environment,” NASA’s letter to the embassy reads.

The letter is copied to Chebukati, Attorney General Githu Muigai, Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe, National Intelligence Service (NIS) Director General Philip Kameru, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) chair Kagwiria Mbogori and all accredited election observer groups.

Personal security concerns

In the letter, NASA raises personal security concerns on its presidential candidate, names specific military detachments it claims have been roped into the plan and warns of a plot to instigate violence and blame it on NASA supporters.

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Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i addresses the press at the Kenya School of Government, Nairobi, on Friday.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto, Acting Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, military and police chiefs have all denied the rigging claims, with Matiang’i offering to meet NASA and explain the security deployment.

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They have accused NASA of introducing all manner of complaints and court cases to either derail the elections.

On Thursday, President Kenyatta, who met African Union Commission chairman Moussa Faki and AU’s chief election observer Thabo Mbeki, told the team that the Opposition’s attack on those in charge of securing the country as well as the elections was a clear sign of an intention to cause chaos.

KDF Spokesman Col Joseph Awouth told the Sunday Standard: “Our code of conduct is clear that the military is very apolitical. We do not take any sides in politics as soldiers. Whoever claims that should provide evidence.”

Interior PS Karanja Kibicho also termed the claims “baseless, reckless and unfortunate”,

He claimed that NASA’s continued attack on security organs could demoralise the officers. He challenged NASA to provide any evidence of police officers being deployed to rig.

“I wish NASA could provide evidence that so and so has been deployed as a returning officer in this or that place and if that happens I will resign. But as for now, those remain just claims,” Kibicho said.

In the letter to the British, NASA reiterates its earlier claims that police officers under special assignment have been deployed to work as election officials with the aim of helping in rigging. “A similar exercise took place in the run-up to 2013 elections. We are concerned about the mandate and instructions given to these officers,” the letter says. It is expected that the Wednesday meeting between the candidates and the electoral commission will thrash out these concerns.

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Idle around

On Friday, Matiang’i warned that the police will not tolerate anyone who will have voted to remain outside or inside the polling stations other than the accredited observers or election officials appointed by the IEBC.

He warned that police will not allow anyone to idle around polling stations.

Reacting to the statement, Siaya Senator James Orengo, a key member of the NASA strategy team, said they will post members of the ‘Adopt a Polling Station’ team at polling stations to ensure the safety of cast ballot papers in spite of the government warning.

Speaking in Kisumu, Orengo said Matiangi’s directives was part of a scheme by Jubilee to rig the elections by causing fear among Kenyans.

He said NASA will raise the alarm and demand a stop of the elections should it detect any anomalies during the process.

“We have put in place adequate mechanisms as NASA to detect and deal with any possible electoral malpractices. If we detect any anomaly in advance, we will raise the alarm and halt the polls,” said Orengo.

He said the Opposition had adopted the system of getting people out to vote and then safeguarding the votes cast as as an instrument of protecting human rights and liberties.

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“We are not saying the NASA recruited agents will get into the polling stations and possibly become a nuisance, no. They will simply help us to get out the voters and protect them,” Orengo asserted.

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