President Ruto's remarks on Chebukati murder plot kicks up a storm
- It's apparent that debate on the bitterly contested August 2022 general election will not go away any time soon.
- "Is Ruto ready to record a statement?" Marth Karua poses on the allegation by the President that there was a plot to murder IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati.
The allegation by President William Ruto that there was a devious plot to harm outgoing Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chair Wafula Chebukati in the course of the bitterly fought August 2022 presidential election continues to elicit heated debate.
Speaking during a consultative meeting with members of Constitutional Commissions and Independent Offices at State House, Nairobi, on Tuesday January 17, President Ruto said:
"We also know that there was a direct attempt to abduct Wafula Chebukati and murder him so that the commission would be paralysed, or a compliant commissioner takes over and subvert the people’s sovereignty."
President Ruto was declared winner after garnering 7,176,141 votes [50.49% of the votes cast]. His political nemesis Azimio La Umoja's Raila Odinga polled 6,942,930 votes [48.85%].
Azimio enjoyed the backing of the then outgoing Head of State Uhuru Kenyatta.
"Why would such a serious allegation of attempted kidnap and murder of IEBC chair be made six months after the elections and why is the allegation by Mr William Ruto a third party and not by Chebukati himself?" poses Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua.
Karua was Raila's running mate in the August race.
"Why did Chebukati not disclose this to the court during the presidential petition or better still report the matter to the police ? Six months into the Ruto regime why has no action been taken if these allegations have any iota of truth?" she adds.
Just a day after President Ruto made the allegation, Azimio alleged that the results were doctored in favour of Ruto. Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni claimed that Raila got 8.1 million votes and Ruto 5.9 million.
Karua further dismisses President Ruto's allegations as "propaganda" and "irresponsible."
"Is Ruto ready to record a statement?," she poses.
Political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi says the President has been much focused on praising and feting Chebukati since his electoral victory. It's noteworthy that during the 59th Jamhuri Day celebrations last year, Chebukati was conferred the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart (EGH) by President Ruto.
"This glorification of Chebukati by Ruto is beginning to sound suspect. It is on steroids in an unusual way. And on killing Chebukati, may be it has not happened yet," he says.
On his part, vocal Embakasi East MP Babu Owino says justice should be pursued on behalf of the families of former IEBC IT head Chris Msando, and slain Baby Pendo who lost their lives during the 2017 general election period.
"Chebukati must be arrested for Election malpractice in 2017 that led to the death of Msando,Baby Pendo and others," Owino says.
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