BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,2ND DEC,2021-Amani National Congress Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi has welcomed the move taken by the electoral agency to pull out of a multi agency committee formed to plan next year’s general elections.
Speaking at the party headquarters in Nairobi, Mudavadi said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission should be left to operate as an independent institution devoid of any interference from other government bodies.
Last week, the IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati withdrew from the multi agency committee put in place to prepare for the elections, saying the law only rests the burden of election preparation on the commission.
Speaking during the launch of the party’s digital platforms, Mudavadi said the IEBC role should be left to the commission and not be hijacked by people with interests on the outcome of the elections.
“All we want as a country is a free, fair and transparent elections, and that is a duty the IEBC should live up to and not anyone else,” he said.
He added: “The reason why we have been having violence after every election is because the electoral agency fails to fairly execute its mandate because other forces hijack the operations of the commission.”
Mudavadi comments on the issue comes as a defense of Mr Chebukati who has been on the receiving end from ODM party, accusing him of being a sympathiser of Deputy President William Ruto.
Mudavadi said the events of political assassinations should not be allowed to creep back through the IEBC.
He cited the cold blood murder of former IEBC ICT manager Chris Musando as an unfortunate death that resulted from Musando’s stand on the integrity of the electoral process.
“The commission should not be interfered by anybody. It is an independent institution that should be left to organize the elections so that if anything goes wrong, we know who to ask and not having many players usurping the powers of the commission,” he said.
At the same time, the 2022 presidential candidate took a swipe at President Uhuru Kenyatta’s claims that the economy has recorded growth during his nine years in office with Kenya’s GDP standing at over Ksh 11 trillion.
Mudavadi said the President’s remarks during his State of the Nation Address on Tuesday were political and not economically factual.
He said the GDP growth the president was referring to is only in paper and that more than half of the money goes to public debt.
“As an economist and former Finance minister, the Ksh 11 trillion the President is talking of is just in writing and cannot be felt. Over Ksh 7. 5 trillion goes to the public debt and we cannot say the economy has grown with a partly Ksh 3 trillion,” he added.
Mudavadi said Uhuru’s projected growth cannot be believed because the cost of living has become unbearable for Kenyans.
“If the economy is doing that good as the President wants us to believe, then why is the cost of living becoming unbearable for Kenyans? Why the high level of unemployment?” he posed.
Mudavadi said his administration will work to revamp the economy and create job opportunities for the millions of unemployed youth.
During the launch of its revamped digital platforms, Mudavadi said his administration will ensure all government services are digitized as a way of bringing services closer to the people.
The party also launched a training manual for political aspirants and a youth charter, becoming the first political party to have such a document.
“My administration will embrace youth leadership from the lowest level to the Cabinet. The youth are not leaders of tomorrow but today. We will not put the young people on the periphery but make them part of our leadership,” he said.
He added: “The young people are not running fast for leadership. No. What the young are saying is that the old have become very slow in addressing matters development, creating jobs, embracing them and giving them leadership opportunities.”
The event was graced by the ANC leadership including elected MPs, Senators, MCAs, youth leaders and aspirants for various positions.
Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala who has in the recent past been hitting on ODM leader Raila Odinga called on the former prime Minister to throw his support behind Mudavadi for the presidency.
He said the One Kenya Alliance to which Mudavadi is a member is open to all Kenyans and leaders including Raila who want to join it but they will only be allowed to join to support one of the principals and not to be supported.
The vocal Senator called on President Kenyatta to steer clear succession politics and not try to impose a leader on others.