Did Jubilee steal Raila’s votes?

Moses Kuria

Gatundu South MP, Moses Kuria. 

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration is increasingly coming under sharp focus over its legitimacy, following numerous vote-rigging claims made about past elections.

Some members of the party made statements suggesting that President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto could have been involved in election irregularities to rise to power.

This raises the question whether ODM leader Raila Odinga’s votes were stolen to catapult Uhuru-Ruto to the top seat.

Mr Odinga alleged previously that his votes were stolen in the past three elections – 2007 under President Mwai Kibaki’s administration and twice in 2013 and 2017 under President Kenyatta.

On Tuesday, during the United Democratic Alliance’s (UDA) convention at the Kasarani gymnasium, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria became the latest Jubilee member to make vote-rigging claims.

Addressing at least 5,000 UDA delegates, the Chama Cha Kazi (CCK) leader claimed he and other political leaders that he did not name helped President Kenyatta secure victory in the previous elections through dubious means.

He accusing Mr Kenyatta of sidelining DP Ruto and his allies who helped propel him to power in 2013 and 2017.

The MP alleged that together with others who are now in Dr Ruto's camp, he guarded President Kenyatta’s votes and rigged the election in his favour.

"Kuna wengine wanasema ati kura ya mlima itagawanywa; mheshimiwa Anne Waiguru, Rigathi Gachagua, Muthomi Njuki, Kimani Ichung’wa, Senator Linturi, Alice Wahome, Faith Gitau, Kimani wa Matangi…Sisi ndio tulikuwa tukishikilia Uhuru kura, na sisi ndio tulikuwa tunamuibia kura,” Mr Kuria stated.

Similar expressions were made last month by Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege, who is now in Mr Odinga’s camp.

During the Vihiga Azimio la Umoja rally attended by Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and a host of leaders allied to the coalition, Ms Chege said there could have been election rigging in 2017.

"They [Kenya Kwanza alliance] think they are the cleverest. We have the people and Raila has met the people," Ms Chege said.

She added: "He [Mr Odinga] is the people's project and we want him to be the people's President."

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) would later summon the legislator over her utterances.

Her remarks forced DP Ruto and his Kenya Kwanza team to come out and reassure their supporters that they will not allow rigging to determine the race to succeed President Kenyatta.

While the Supreme Court upheld President Kenyatta’s election in 2013, it nullified the 2017 results and called for fresh presidential elections.

The Chief Justice at the time, David Maraga, said the IEBC had failed "to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the Constitution".

He said the agency had committed irregularities "in the transmission of results", adding that the court would provide details in a full judgment within 21 days.

Dissenting judges said that the Nasa opposition alliance – which had petitioned the Supreme Court – had failed to prove claims that the polls were rigged.

The election sparked days of sporadic protests in which at least 28 people were killed. The vote had raised fears of major political violence, as was the case after a disputed poll in 2007.

In an interview with the BBC World News programme “Focus on Africa” in the United Kingdom on Tuesday, Mr Odinga was taken to task over post-election chaos in Kenya, which he noted arose as a result of disputed poll results.

“Kenyans don’t just want to wake up one day, go to the streets and begin to engage in violence. I think it is a consequence of unfairness in the electoral process that people actually protest against,” he said.

“So Kenyans are generally peaceful people and they will conduct themselves peacefully until they are provoked by an unfair electoral process.”

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