Ruto: There was a devious plot to abduct, kill Chebukati during August poll
President William Ruto has lifted the lid on the chaotic scenes witnessed at Bomas of Kenya on August 15 in the run up to the announcement of the final presidential results.
Speaking during a meeting with chapter 15 commissions and Independent offices at State House on Tuesday, Dr Ruto claimed there was a plot to abduct and kill immediate chairperson of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Wafula Chebukati.
According to the President, the plot to abduct Mr Chebukati was sanctioned by the ‘highest’ office and the plan was to paralyse the commission and install ‘friendly’ commissioners that would eventually announced a candidate that was not elected by the people
“We know that there was a direct attempt to abduct Mr Chebukati and murder him so that he commission would be paralysed, or a compliant commissioner take over and subvert the people’s sovereignty. It was a hard, cold and lonely time, the threats were dire, the promised rewards lavish and the pressure relentless,” President Ruto said.
The President, without mentioning names, said senior politicians teamed up to manage the presidential succession with a view to guaranteeing a very specific outcome of the ensuing election.
According to President Ruto, this plot was to be executed through the capture of autonomous constitutional bodies.
“This mechanism resolved to infiltrate the organisation by introducing at its highest level four sleeper commissioners whose sole task was to lie in wait for the election, then spring into action and take drastic actions to subvert the will of the people,” President Ruto said.
President Ruto also revealed that the scheme to subvert the will of the people during the August poll also included use of bribery, blackmail, extortion, threats and intimidation of various public officials of the IEBC, attempt their abductions, torture and assassination and finally storm the National Tallying in order to alter the vote tallying process.
Should all that fail, President said the next step was to ‘eliminate’ Mr Chebukati and replace him with a willing accomplice, from among the four commissioners whom he referred to as ‘sleepers’
“The horrifying drama at Bomas and the emergence of break-away commissioners answering to external instructions represented a dismayingly low point in our democratic history. A policy to subvert the wishes of the people had been sanctioned at the highest offices of the state. The sovereignty of the people was in jeopardy,” he said.
President Ruto however hailed Mr Chebukati whom he said in the midst of the barrage of threats and intimidation he was faced, he resisted the plan of the ‘system’ to overturn the choice people made at the ballot.
“We now know that Chairman Wafula Chebukati, Commissioners Abdi Yakub Guliye and Boya Molu as well as the CEO, Hussein Marjan, and their staff, were offered stupendous financial rewards to cooperate with the agents of impunity, but they bravely resisted,” President Ruto said.
President Ruto said Mr Chebukati together with Commissioners Boya Molu, Abdi Guliye faced intense pressure and threats together with their families in order to subvert the will of the people in the August poll and get rewarded ‘lavishly’
The State House meeting was attended by Mr Chebukati and two commissioners whose term officially ended yesterday after a six year stint and the electoral agency. The President ordered the three to stand up during his speech for the audience to clap for them over their role during their tenure.
The President said that even though Mr Chebukati and the two commissioners were the minority, they were enough to stand up and defend the will of the people urging other commissioners in the independent offices to emulate them while serving the public.
“It takes a person who can stare death in the face, and nevertheless pursue the right course of action, to uphold, protect and defend our constitutional values and principles, and to enhance the legitimacy of our institutions. The IEBC had three such people,” President Ruto said.
“If on the other hand, the commissions and independent offices are steadfast in advancing their constitutional mandates, Kenya’s institutions will receive the necessary impetus towards realising the people’s aspirations by protecting rights, enhancing freedom, deepening democracy and unlocking sustainable development,”
Speaking at the same event, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said the government will provide full security to Mr Chebukati together with the two commissioners while on retirement.
“We are aware that you antagonised a very dangerous and powerful power. You will have full security in your retirement so that you enjoy your time,” Mr Gachagua said.
He termed Mr Chebukati and other two commissioners as heroes for standing up for Kenyans and rejecting intimidation, threats, bribery in order to overturn the will of the people.
National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetan'gula said Mr Chebukati managed to do what many Kenyans have failed to do while on duty and therefore deserve a reward.
“Mr Chebukati has set the bar high indicating that you can actually do the right thing and walk with your shoulders high. We are here because one man stood for the country,” Mr Wetangula said.
Mr Wetan'gula called on the prosecution of goons that caused chaos at Bomas of Kenya as a means of ending impunity in the country.
“I walked into the office of Mr Chebukati after the commotion and I found Prof Guliye crying and his feet bleeding after being assaulted. It is Sad that none of those goons caught on CCTV have been brought to book. That is not the best way to deal with impunity,” Mr Wetangula said.
The call to probe the chaos at Bomas has also been called by allies of President Ruto.
While Azimio leader Raila Odinga has also supported calls to probe the August poll, the coalition has given a raft of conditions such as appointment of same number of commissioners by the two leading coalitions, appointment of a foreigner who will be the chairperson of the commission and the vetting of the commissioners by Parliament before they get down to work.