Deputy President William Ruto and Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga are in fresh trouble after electoral agency boss Wafula Chebukati asked the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji to investigate claims that they have been using public resources in their presidential campaigns ahead of the August 9 elections.
Mr Chebukati wrote to the DPP after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) received a written complaint from Thirdway Alliance Party leader Ekuru Aukot in which he accused the two political honchos of using state resources to gain undue advantage over other presidential contestants in the forthcoming general election.
“The party (Third Way Alliance) has singled out the Deputy President, Dr William Ruto, and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga as having undue advantage over the other aspirants by dint of using public resources thus enjoying a competitive edge,” Mr Chebukati said in his letter to Mr Haji.
Mr Chebukati said only the DPP has the power to order investigations and to prosecute offences under the Election Offences Act.
“It is on this premise that we wish to escalate this complaint to your office to deal with since the same falls under your purview,” Mr Chebukati told the DPP.
In his letter, the IEBC chief reiterated that Section 14 of the Election Offences Act 2016 outlawed the use of public resources for the purpose of election campaigns.
The Act provides that unless there is a written law to that effect, a candidate, referendum committee or other person shall not use public resources for the purpose of campaigning during an election or a referendum.
In the open letter dated March 5, 2022, Dr Aukot calls for the resignation of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, Dr Ruto, for actively engaging in politics using state resources.
He accused the Head of State of splashing resources on his preferred candidate, Mr Odinga, shortly after the collapse of the BBI Bill and actively promoting the candidate’s political activities using public resources.
“The meetings held at State House, Nairobi and the Sagana 3 are clear pointers that you have decided to use state resources to promote the candidature of your preferred political project. You have been openly using state resources and the privileges of your office to engage in partisan and divisive politics,” Dr Aukot wrote.
Ruto presidential campaigns
The Third Way Alliance Party leader also accused the DP of launching his presidential campaigns shortly after the last elections and using his official residence in Karen for political activities relating to his party.
“He (DP Ruto) has literally converted that taxpayer-financed residence into a campaign office for his political party, where he receives UDA members and hosts defectors from other political parties,” said Dr Aukot.
He further accused the DP of using the Karen residence to issue statements criticising the same government that promised Kenyans that it would transform the economy and the lives of the people.
Dr Aukot also called out the DP for what he described as dereliction and chronic absenteeism from duty yet he still continues to draw a salary and all attendant benefits even when he does not discharge his official functions.