Election fraud dossier: Raila now faces the DCI

Director of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations Mohamed Amin

Director of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations Mohamed Amin. DCI is looking into the authenticity of the files Azimio la Umoja One Kenya released on January 18 to support claims that the opposition alliance emerged victorious in the August 9, 2022, presidential election.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is looking into the authenticity of the files Azimio la Umoja One Kenya released on January 18 to support claims that the opposition alliance emerged victorious in the August 9, 2022, presidential election.

In a letter seen by the Sunday Nation, DCI chief Mohamed Amin is seeking to establish if offences of “forgery” and “falsification of documents” were committed in the release of the dossier that accuses the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of rigging the election in favour of President William Ruto.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga, his running mate in the election Martha Karua and other leaders of the coalition, including Wiper party boss Kalonzo Musyoka and Jubilee Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni have claimed that the documents reportedly released by an IEBC whistle-blower reflect the true results of the election. 

“In the last few days, the directorate has received numerous correspondence and complaints relating to information circulating online which is attributed to the IEBC,” Mr Amin writes in the letter addressed to the IEBC chief executive. 

“Our attention has also been drawn to documents alleged to be official results of the presidential election.” 

Manipulation, forgery

The DCI boss details accusations by Azimio that there was manipulation and forgery of IEBC documents. 

He says the interest is in investigating what Azimio claims are genuine forms 34B, particularly the alleged irregularities and inconsistencies in the watermarks featured in the IEBC documents.

“The directorate is investigating the validity and authenticity of the documents in question, in addition to whether offences relating to forgery and falsification of documents have been committed,” the letter says.

Mr Odinga’s has in the past week used the documents to say that he was denied victory. He is pressing on with countrywide rallies to discredit Dr Ruto.

Last evening, Mr Kioni and National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi laughed off the decision to investigate the authenticity of their claims and dossier.

Mr Kioni accused the Executive of weaponising state agencies so as to settle political scores.

“The figures we shared are genuine but we will wait for the details of the investigations before our party leader responds,” Mr Kioni said. 

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition leader Raila Odinga during his rally at Kamukunji Grounds

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition leader Raila Odinga during his rally at Kamukunji Grounds in Nairobi on January 23, 2023. He had just flown into the country from South Africa.

Photo credit: Diana Ngila | Nation Media Group

The Jubilee secretary-general said Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition stands by the figures showing Mr Odinga won the election by more than 2.2 million votes.

Mr Wandayi said the investigation “is a waste of time and an exercise in futility”. 

“They are attempting to invent offences that are not known in the law. Freedom of thought and expression is guaranteed in the Constitution,” the Ugunja MP said. 

A false publication attracts a Sh5 million fine, a two-year prison term or both.

2022 poll dispute

The investigation opens another battle in the protracted 2022 election dispute.

Mr Amin added that the investigation would cover reports of new vote tallies reportedly leaked by the IEBC insider.

Mr Kioni first shared the reports on January 18, saying Mr Odinga garnered 8,170,353 (57.3 per cent) votes against Dr Ruto’s 5,915,973 or 41.66 per cent.

The opposition alliance has consistently discredited the results announced by then-IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati.

During a rally at Kamukunji grounds in Nairobi on Monday, Mr Odinga repeated the claim that the election was rigged, and vowed resistance against President Ruto and his Kenya Kwanza government.

In the January 25 letter, Mr Amin alludes to the allegations as he requests the poll commission to furnish the DCI with certified copies of forms 34B – aggregation of votes at constituency level – that were used to tally, verify and declare the results of the presidential vote.

The development marks an escalation of the dispute. 

Mr Odinga has vowed to pile pressure on the President to resign “so that the will of the people prevails”.

Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga

Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga in an entourage snaking its way to the historic Kamukunji Grounds for a rally on January 23, 2023.

Photo credit: Diana Ngila | Nation Media Group

The letter does not mention Mr Odinga or Mr Kioni, but the broadness of the investigation is expected to see them questioned.

The Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition leader is to hold the second “public consultative” meeting at Jacaranda grounds in Nairobi today, in which he is to announce tougher actions against the government.

Following the script of the 2017 post-election crisis, Mr Odinga has put in motion a plan to hold nationwide rallies and urge a product boycott of enterprises linked to the ruling coalition leaders as part of a civil disobedience campaign that could ultimately snowball into mass protests to force the government out.

No handshake

President Ruto has accused Mr Odinga of generating a crisis to extract concessions from his administration with the aim of advancing selfish family business interests.

The President says he will not yield to blackmail for a handshake, referring to the 2018 truce the opposition leader struck with then-President Uhuru Kenyatta to end a post-election dispute.

But Mr Odinga insists that he is not interested in a share of government, arguing that his resistance is in the interest of electoral justice.

The president last week signed into law regulations on the forming of a selection panel for new IEBC commissioners to succeed Mr Chebukati, Prof Abdi Guliye and Mr Boya Molu who retired this month as well as Ms Juliana Cherera, Mr Justus Nyang’aya and Mr Francis Wanderi who resigned following accusations that they schemed to block IEBC declaring Dr Ruto the election winner.

Suspended commissioner Irene Masit, who was the fourth member of the Cherera allied officials that held a press conference to dispute the results announced by Mr Chebukati on August 15, awaits her fate before a tribunal established by the President to investigate claims of gross misconduct against the four.

The investigation comes even as President Ruto’s wing, backed by the retired commissioners, demands a commission of inquiry into the chaos that rocked Bomas of Kenya before the announcement of the presidential race winner.

The opposition, on the other hand, wants an independent audit of the 2022 presidential election, including full access to the servers to ascertain the truth which it claims will reflect the dossier.