Opposition chiefs Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetang’ula, Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka at Kathagacene Primary School in Tharaka Nithi during a tour to popularise the National Super Alliance. [PHOTO: PETER MUTHOMI/STANDARD]
Opposition leaders have challenged the electoral commission to come clean on their state of preparedness to conduct the August 8 General Election.
A day after touring Meru, National Super Alliance leaders yesterday visited neighbouring Tharaka Nithi County where they challenged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to respond to their concerns over the polls.
On a day IEBC cancelled a tender for a crucial system for voter identification and results transmission citing tender wars, the Opposition leaders gave the commission seven days to respond to a letter they had written to it raising their concerns about the level of preparedness for the elections.
In addresses at different stops in Tharaka Nithi, Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula asked IEBC to be honest with Kenyans on their preparedness.
“IEBC should come out in the open and tell us if they are ready to conduct the elections. We have written to them raising our concerns but they are yet to respond,” Mr Mudavadi said.
Mr Wetang’ula said: “If anything goes wrong during the elections, IEBC will be solely responsible because Kenyans are not ready for another bungled election. We have told them that all the checks should be in place to ensure that we have a free and fair election.”
The leaders also criticised the Government’s latest move to deny media houses advertisements, saying it was meant to deny the firms revenue.
They said the Government had accumulated debts with media houses but was now saying all adverts will go to a Government publication.
Earlier, Raila stirred controversy when he endorsed the re-election of Meru Governor Peter Munya.
But immediately after he announced the Opposition’s support for Mr Munya in the battle against Senator Kiraitu Murungi, the governor swiftly sought to distance himself from NASA.
Munya said his Party of National Unity (PNU) backed the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Raila, who spoke highly of Munya during a press conference in Meru, later joined his NASA colleagues in Tharaka Nithi County.
Mr Kiraitu chided the Opposition and dismissed their forays in the perceived Jubilee stronghold, saying the leaders should not mistake the crowds at their rallies for support. Kiraitu said the region was behind President Kenyatta.
In Tharaka Nithi, the Opposition chiefs were hosted by Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki’s brother, Isaiah Kindiki.
Prof Kindiki, who is a NASA supporter, said Jubilee had failed the people of Tharaka Nithi, who in 2013 voted overwhelmingly for Uhuru.
“Jubilee wants you to wear a specific uniform to fit in but NASA welcomes diversity. Their (NASA) philosophy is to capture diverse cultures of Kenya and bring them together,” he said.
However, he explained he did not have any differences with his brother but they merely held divergent views on who should be president.
The Opposition leaders criticised the Jubilee Government’s performance, saying it had even let down people who voted overwhelmingly for it in 2013 polls.
Raila and Kalonzo singled out the Grand Falls Dam in Kibuka in Tharaka Nithi, which had stalled. Speaking about the dam, Raila said he and former President Mwai Kibaki had made sure that anyone who had to be relocated would be compensated yet Jubilee had shifted the position and wanted residents to be moved to Ijara.
“If they will not be compensated, let the project stall until a NASA government can implement it successfully,” he said.
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He accused the Government of inflating the initial Sh227 billion tendered and awarding it to the same contractor at an inflated cost.
“Jubilee cancelled the tender and re-awarded it to the same contractor at Sh350 billion,” Raila claimed.
Raila said the Jubilee government was getting mileage from projects initiated by the Grand Coalition government.