BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,4TH MARCH,2022– The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)says it will launch investigations into remarks made by Deputy President William Ruto that a plot has been hatched to rig the August elections.
Chairman Wafula Chebukati stated that investigations are ongoing to ascertain the statement by the deputy President and a report filed on the matter.
“I haven’t read those remarks, I think when the commission looks at them then we shall be in an informed position to look at them. We shall give our comments on the same and give a way forward,” said Chebukati.
In his tour in the United States, Ruto told members of the international community that democracy was on trial in Kenya and that voters may not have a chance to freely make their choices at the ballot in the coming General Election.
“The biggest issue on the ballot is the democracy of our nation and whether we truly have the opportunity to make free choices devoid of blackmail, threats and intimidation. That is a matter that is on the ballot,” he had said.
“If you understand a bit of Kiswahili that’s what informs the current push by many Kenyans to say hatupangwingwi, meaning ‘we want to make our choices without being choreographed or chaperoned or blackmailed or intimidated.”
The IEBC Chairman was speaking after a Memorandum of Understanding signing between the Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) and the Kenya Union of Journalist (KUJ) where he asserted that the elections will be free and fair despite fears that the results will be tampered with.
“As a commission we are sure that results announced at the polling station are final and they will be availed to the Media, the agents of candidates and anyone who wants to do parallel tallying,” Chebukati noted.
“Chances of rigging elections are almost nil this year and we are confident that any Kenyan who vote, their vote will count,” he added.
The electoral agency warned all aspirants in the August polls to be careful with their political utterances as they are bound by the electoral conduct.
“All aspirants are bound by electoral conduct. We shall look at his statements and we shall report and give a report to Kenyans,” said Chebukati.
This comes even as the poll body investigates IEBC summoned the Murang’a Woman Representative on charged of breaching the electoral code for claiming that the 2017 vote was rigged and “even this one (2017) we can.”
“I have heard others saying we rigged, there is some truth in it. So, if we managed to rig, even this one we can. They think they (opponents) are the smartest,” she said in Vihiga County Thursday while in the company of other Azimio La Umoja MPs.
The remarks sparked wildfire on social media, where leaders and supporters of Ruto are challenging her to substantiate her remarks.