Orange Democratic Movement presidential candidate Raila Odinga has made new rigging claims against the Jubilee Party after he released names of 42 police officers he alleged have been recruited to ensure the current administration retains power regardless of the outcome of next month’s General Election.
The National Super alliance co-principal made the accusation against his rivals at a press conference at his office at Capitol Hill Square in Nairobi on Thursday.
The officers, he said, were drawn from the General Service Unit, Kenya Airport Police Unit, Dog Unit and traffic unit and have a mandate known in police lingo as “special duties”.
He said their kits were withdrawn and they were given civilian identity cards as a camouflage.
The ODM party leader demanded that Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet explains the nature of the “special duties”.
Police dismissed the claims.
Police Spokesman Charles Owino told the Nation that the officers had been recruited by the National Intelligence Service. He said in such cases, officers are discharged by the police and, therefore, join the NIS as civilians.
“Whoever gave Mr Odinga such information misled him,” said Mr Owino. “The police are not in any rigging plan in the forthcoming General Election.”
Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju retorted that they cannot train police officers and referred Mr Odinga to acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.
“How can we recruit our agents from the police?” Mr Tuju asked. “They have their own chain of command and it is the Inspector-General who can explain that.”
Mr Odinga claimed that the 42 will be recruited by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission as polling clerks and returning officers while some will be Jubilee Party agents.
“The officers have been assigned what the Kenya Police Service calls ‘special duties’ via a circular dated June 23,” said Mr Odinga. “They have been issued with clearance certificates and asked to report to headquarters to be issued with discharge certificates before July 2.”
IEBC, through communication officer Andrew Limo, told the Nation they submitted the list of all the staff it hired to the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties so that parties can raise any concerns.
“I will find out from the registry if any concern has been raised,” said Mr Limo in an SMS.
Mr Odinga pointed the finger at Army Commander Lieutenant-General Robert Kibochi, Kenya Air Force Commander Major-General Samuel Thuita, National Defence College boss Lt-Gen Leonard Ngondi, Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro and NIS Director-General Philip Kameru as being behind the plot.
“We have details of a meeting that was held in Nairobi dated June 16, that an opinion poll commissioned by the NIS put the race at 30 per cent to 70 per cent in favour of Nasa,” said Mr Odinga.
He said minutes of the meeting described a Raila victory as “tragic” and said President Uhuru Kenyatta will reject the results and refuse to hand over power.
“The recruitment of police officers into election activities falls within recommendations of the Jubilee team under scenario Number Two, which was ‘An Undisputable Raila Win’,” said Mr Odinga.
Last month, Mr Odinga claimed that Kenya Defence Forces soldiers were being trained in Embakasi to rig the polls for Jubilee.
However, the military and the police denied the claim.