Raila: We’ll deploy five agents per station to shield votes

NASA Principal Raila Odinga addresses Kitale residents at Kitale Stadium. (Photo: Peter Ochieng’/Standard)

National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate Raila Odinga has insisted that the Opposition will deploy agents to protect its votes under the “Adopt-a-Polling Station” strategy.

Raila, who led other NASA leaders in campaign tour of Trans Nzoia County, also warned police to keep off the electoral process and reiterated that Jubilee was planning to use security officers to rig the elections. He claimed regional coordinators and Administration Police officers had been taken to Embakasi for training to oversee rigging activities.

The Opposition leader was reacting to reports that police chief Joseph Boinnet had written to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), seeking clarification on the number of agents a party is entitled to.

“Jubilee is losing focus and is only coming up with lame excuses, now they are writing to the Inspector General of Police to keep voters away from the station after voting, there is no problem or illegality in staying at the polling station after voting so as to safeguard the victory of their preferred candidates,” he added.

IEBC communications manager Andrew Limo however said the commission has not received such a letter.

On Wednesday, NASA said it requires a minimum of Sh500 million to implement its strategy which will involve deploying at least five agents to each polling station countrywide.

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“We require Sh10,000 each for the 41,000 polling stations we have countrywide. We will use the money to pay our five officials who will be stationed at each polling station. There will be two inside the centre and three outside,” Raila said.

Five-day ultimatum

However, the IEBC chief has indicated that NASA can have several agents in one polling station since each of its affiliate parties and all candidates participating in the exercise are entitled to have their own agents.

“We will be encouraging parties to appoint one candidate per polling station who can act for the party’s candidates in the six seats. However legally, each candidate is entitled to one agent,” Mr Chebukati said.

Speaking in Kiminini, Raila also issued a five-day ultimatum to the IEBC to publish the updated voters’ register according to the law or face unspecified action.

He questioned why the commission was taking long to make public the names of voters in all stations.

“We are giving IEBC until Tuesday to publish this list, the law requires that they do so within three days but since May 10 they have not fulfilled the requirement. We want the list which we will distribute to all the polling stations in the country to keep track of the voting process,” he said.

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In Sibanga, while reacting to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s remark that he has never indicated he will concede defeat if beaten in the polls, Raila said he would only accept defeat if the elections are free and fair.

The NASA principals expressed confidence that this time round, they will beat their competitors and urged their supporters to turn up in large numbers and cast their votes on August 8.

“We are 10 million strong and that is why Uhuru and his team are crying and complaining. This time Kenyans have a reason, will and capability to lead the nation out of poverty, corruption, high cost of living and discrimination yokes created by the Jubilee government,” Raila said.

His running mate Kalonzo Musyoka promised that NASA will revive the agriculture sector in the region referred to as the grain basket of the Kenya.

Kijana Wamalwa

“It is absurd and insensitive for Jubilee to prefer offering good prices of over Sh4,000 per bag of maize to foreign countries while local farmers are getting peanuts for their hard work. We have the medicine for all these ailments brought by this poor leadership, all we want is for all of you to come out on August 8 and vote. Even the sick should be ferried to polling stations because we want to make history by reviving our country,” said Mr Kalonzo.

Mudavadi called for Western unity, saying together with Wetangula they had shelved their presidential ambition to support Raila.

“We are solidly behind Raila and we need to walk together on this, staying at home on August 8 means re-electing Jubilee and extending the suffering of farmers that have been exploited by the current leadership,” said Mudavadi.

Mudavadi taunted Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and challenged him to join NASA and “stop betraying” his late brother and former Vice President Michael Kijana Wamalwa.

Moses Wetang’ula said NASA is determined to rid the country of corruption.

“On August 8 we have to come out and vote, each one of us has a date with history to end this poverty, corruption and high levels of inflation. The Jubilee Government claims to have constructed thousands of kilometres of roads but we cannot see any of these roads,” he claimed.

The leaders addressed rallies in Kiminini before heading to Sibanga in Cherangany, Endebess, Kolongolo and finally Kitale Stadium.

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