State has no plan to involve KDF in polls, says PS Kibicho.

The government has again denied allegations that the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) would be used to rig the General Election.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho dismissed as falsehoods claims by Nasa Presidential candidate Raila Odinga that a military unit was being recruited to ensure that President Uhuru Kenyatta retains power.

Briefing editors, media owners, diplomats and local and international election observers on Monday, Mr Kibicho insisted that there were no plans at all to involve the military in any aspect of the elections.

He spoke in the midst of a storm following Mr Odinga’s release last Friday of secret KDF documentation detailing election security contingency plans.

RAISED ALARM

What particularly raised alarm in the letters were references to enlistment only of soldiers known to be “Regime Friendly by Tribe” for the special duties.

KDF spokesman Joseph Owouth conceded that the documents were genuine but said they were being misinterpreted.

Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo and her Interior counterpart Fred Matiang’i on Saturday called a press conference to dismiss Mr Odinga’s allegations as outright falsehoods meant to spoil the good name of a professional and apolitical military.

READ: Jubilee tarnishing KDF reputation: Raila

They, however, did not respond to specific details in the letters that had already been widely circulated, with Ms Omamo saying she had not yet read them.

Claims that Jubilee intended to use the military were also denounced by President Kenyatta in a series of campaign rallies over the weekend.

SECURITY PLANS

Mr Kibicho, accompanied by Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said the elaborate security plans drawn up for the elections did not include the military at all.

He said the extra numbers needed to supplement the National Police Service over the election period were drawn from other uniformed units: Prisons Service, Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenya Forest Service and National Youth Service, but none from the KDF.

About 180,000 officers are required during the election while the Police has about 80,000 officers.

READ: Uhuru dismisses rigging claims by Nasa

“We in the Interior Ministry have not invited the KDF to help us. There is no KDF being prepared for these elections,” said Mr Kibicho.

He said the military knows its role as defined by law, and would never get involved in politics. However, he said the law allows for the military to be called in under emergency situations where police might be overwhelmed.

DEPLOYING MILITARY

Meanwhile, Jubilee Party was on Monday enjoined in a case filed by Nasa seeking to block the government from deploying military personnel in polls.

Nasa, through lawyer Paul Mwangi, asked Justice Chacha Mwita to forward the file to Chief Justice David Maraga so that he could constitute a bench of more than two judges to hear the case.

He said the case raises weighty constitutional matters and a bench of uneven number of judges should hear the dispute.

The judge directed all the parties to file and exchange their responses ahead of the hearing on August 4.

Nasa argues that the government has made public pronouncements indicating intentions to deploy the military in areas deemed as hotspots.

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