President William Ruto yesterday maintained that the August 2022 General Elections was free and fair and servers were easily accessible for result tallies and comparison.
In apparent response to calls by the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party for auditing of the servers containing the presidential election results, President Ruto in his address during Madaraka Day celebrations at Embu Stadium, said the poll was beyond reproach.
“Kenya also set a new high in election management by deploying a secure, freely accessible public portal which accurately and faithfully relayed vote tallies in the last election, enabling Kenyans and indeed anyone else to compare and verify tallies and ascertain results,” he said. President Ruto pointed out that the easy accessibility of the portals enabled the Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission (IEBC) to credibly declare and certify the winners. Dr Ruto added that the few petitions lodged in court by dissatisfied candidates was proof that the poll was free and fair.
The Head of State maintained that he will not engage in any talks about changing the Constitution to create positions in the government.
“I promise that the conversation I will have [will not be] about sharing power by the [political class] but empowering our young people with jobs so that they too can contribute meaningfully to the economy of our country,” Dr Ruto said.
But even as the President was talking tough about opening the servers, his team in the bipartisan talks has extended an olive branch to the Azimio camp, asking them to return to the negotiating table.
Kenya Kwanza co-chair George Murugara has written to his counterpart in Azimio, Dr Otiende Amollo, requesting for a meeting on Tuesday in order to iron out the differences that has led to suspension of the talks.
Mr Murugara wants the two of them to discuss the wording of the draft letters to the IEBC selection panel,which are some of the reasons cited by Azimio for suspending the talks.
Mr Murugara said that the letters sent by Dr Amollo to the two institutions had fundamental changes which had altered the requests to directive to the two independent bodies hence he could not sign them.
“I have just now invited [Dr Amollo] to a meeting on Tuesday at 9am to discuss the draft letter further with a view to agreeing on the suitable wording and co- signing them,” Mr Murugara said.
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Mr Murugara said the letters to the two institutions signed by Dr Amollo were giving directions to independent institutions which is contrary to the Constitution.
“As a committee recognised by Parliament, we are bound by the law. We do recognise that IEBC, just like Parliament, Judiciary and other independent offices and commissions, are not subject to directions and orders from any person or entity,” he said.
Mr Murugara maintained that Kenya Kwanza will continue to engage Azimio team within the confines of the law so that the talks do not fail.
On the suspension of the controversial Finance Bill, 2023 as requested by Azimio during its Parliamentary Group meeting on Tuesday, Mr Murugara termed it a new demand.
Dr Amollo on Wednesday suspended the talks indefinitely, saying, the government had failed to meet the demands put forward by the Opposition.
Dr Amollo accused Mr Murugara of failing to sign two letters to the IEBC selection panel and its CEO on the cessation of the ongoing recruitment of IEBC commissioners as well as the preservation of servers containing the presidential election results.