Nasa allege rigging plot as Uhuru, Ruto defend military

Nasa releases document alleging military rigging plot

What you need to know:

  • The Kenya Defence Forces also responded to the allegations, saying it remains steadfastly apolitical.
  • IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati also denied allegations that the commission had planned to use the military.

The National Super Alliance (Nasa) on Friday threatened to boycott next month’s General Election as its leadership made fresh allegations of a plot by the Jubilee administration to use the military and extra ballot papers to rig the poll.

The Nasa flagbearer, Mr Raila Odinga, and his running mate, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, claimed that they had elaborate information detailing how the government planned to use the military to “create a state of anarchy to ensure Jubilee stays in power”.

Addressing a news conference at the Panafric Hotel in Nairobi, the Opposition leaders spoke of an alleged military operation that would hand over power to President Kenyatta.

However, the Saturday Nation could not independently authenticate the claims nor did the military respond to the allegations.

“We have received damning information and concrete evidence of an audacious plan that the Jubilee administration and the top military commanders have put in place to use force to subvert next month’s election with a rigged outcome,” Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka said in their statement.

According to them, the plans include cutting of power and water and then using force to isolate settlements such as Mathare and Kibra slums on Election Day.

They also said Jubilee also intends to use the military to inflate voter numbers to near 100 per cent turn out in Central Kenya.

In a response, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, Mr William Ruto, who spoke at Kapsabet in Nandi County, dismissed the allegations as “fabrications of a coalition that is afraid of losing on August 8”.

Mr Kenyatta said: “We respect the army and its mandate is well-known. We have no experience of planning coups. Kenyans know the master of coups – those who have used the army before.”

He said Mr Odinga was not interested in Kenya holding elections.

“Now they are telling us the security organs are interfering with elections. You want to drag the security people who are dedicated to serving this country into your petty politics?”

The cover page of the 12-page document Nasa leaders say proves their claims. PHOTO | ELVIS ONDIEKI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr Ruto said elections will be held as planned on August 8 whether Nasa participates or not.

“If you do not want to be part of the elections stay at home. Kenyans will still decide who to vote for,” he said.

“They fear losing and now they have fabricated excuses to boycott the elections.”

The Kenya Defence Forces also responded to the allegations, saying it remains steadfastly apolitical.

KDF spokesman Joseph Owuoth said the documents that Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka referred to were authentic but leaked.

“It is normal procedure quoted out of context,” Mr Owuoth, who also promised a more comprehensive statement, said.

“Operation Dumisha Utulivu was launched following exercise Dumisha Utulivu, which was open to the media.”

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati also denied allegations that the commission had planned to use the military.

“Those are rumours,” he said at a briefing for election observers on Friday.

In their press conference, the Nasa leaders also claimed that presidential ballot papers were already in the country and that the invitation for political parties and the media to witness the printing at the Al-Ghurair offices in Dubai was a ploy to create a semblance of transparency.

“The idea of asking us to send our representatives to go to Dubai to witness the packaging of ballot papers to Dubai is hogwash. The ballot papers are already here, and they’re somewhere they’ve called “Green House”, where they are being stored.”

ANC Secretary-General Godfrey Osotsi is representing Nasa in the delegation sent to Al-Ghurair.

“In this document, you will see what they are referring to as “Green House” and then “special transit goods”, which are going to be transported from ‘green house’ to certain destinations.

"That’s why those destinations are going to be cordoned off – the no-go zones. And that is where those officers have been put in charge,” Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka said in their statement.

According to them, the special transit goods “are ballot papers, which are already in the country”.

They claimed there was a reason why IEBC was adamant on hiring Al-Ghurair as it had been given specific conditions.

But speaking to the Saturday Nation in Dubai, an Al-Ghurair official, Mr Lakshmanan Ganapathy, said the company “would not venture into anything illegal, immoral or unethical for small money”.

In Nairobi, Mr Odinga said: “We are now being forced to go into an election whose outcome is already determined.

"We are not that stupid. We will not, until we get full confirmation that we’re going to have a truly democratic and transparent system,” they said.

They said they would not budge until every Kenyan is allowed to cast the ballot.

“This is not negotiable at all,” their statement said.

Later, Mr Odinga’s adviser, Mr Salim Lone, issued another statement denying that Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka would boycott the August 8 election if their demands are not addressed.

“Nasa issued no such threat,” Mr Lone said.

“Media is welcome to speculate on that score, but it cannot ascribe to Nasa what was never said or hinted.”

Earlier, Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka had accused Mr Kenyatta of attempts to interfere with the outcome of the election.

“For some time now, we have been saying that President Uhuru Kenyatta is planning to overthrow the constitution and use the military to rig himself back in office after realising he has lost the August elections.

"We underestimated the scope of that dastardly threat, which we have now revealed,” they said.

But speaking in Kapsabet, the President called for mature politics “that will bring development to our fellow citizens".