Vice President William Ruto and his Kenya Kwanza Brigade have campaigned in the Rift Valley, where they have asked cabinet secretaries to avoid elections.
Leaders combing through the South and North Rift regions have singled out some government officials for allegedly interfering with the work of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Dr Ruto was leading a team in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, his running mate Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua was in Kericho County while ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi was campaigning in Baringo County.
With opinion polls showing a hotly contested race between the DP and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga, the Kenya Kwanza team blamed cabinet secretaries Fred Matiang’I (Interior), Joe Mucheru (ICT) and Margaret Kobia of the civil service of alleged interference in the preparation of the elections.
Ruto, however, avoided the question when addressing the rallies. The leaders did not provide evidence or details of the alleged interference by the three cabinet secretaries. Addressing the rallies in Baringo, Mudavadi said, “We must have free and fair elections. The IEBC should retain its independence. We do not want any interference with the ministries of ICT, Interior or any other.
The ANC leader urged the IEBC to maintain integrity in counting and reporting poll results to avoid disputes. “The 2017 Supreme Court ruling stated that for the counting of the presidential election, the ultimate document is Form 34A. We urge the IEBC to abide by this ruling. We will be monitoring,” a- he said.He challenged Mucheru and Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, saying they had kept many matters of public interest secret.
“Kihara blocked access to the details of the guarantee used for the loan spent on the construction of the standard gauge railway. Mucheru never said how much the government got from the 5G network license,” Mudavadi said. He expressed his confidence that the Kenya Kwanza Alliance will win the presidential election.
“Kenya Kwanza has bagged the coast, the Rift Valley, Mount Kenya and recently Ukambani. You already know where Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka is heading. Azimio is like a hostage,” he said. The Kenya Kwanza Rift Valley tour came a week after Gachagua was unveiled as Dr Ruto’s running mate.
The culmination of the campaigns was in Nakuru where the three teams converged at Rongai before hitting the road with stops in Rhonda, Nakuru Town and Frea Area.
Dr Ruto said Azimio’s presidential candidate did nothing for the region when he was prime minister. “There is nothing Raila Odinga has to prove he did for the people of Nakuru when he was Prime Minister. For us, our record in the various sectors of the economy speaks for itself,” did he declare.
Highlighting the exit from Azimio of Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, the DP said Raila could not trust the country’s leadership.
“Raila broke Kanu, Jubilee and recently dropped Kalonzo Musyoka. He is not a man who can lead this country,” he said. Dr Ruto promised to revive the economy, citing plans to boost small and micro-businesses and ensure affordable and universal health care for all.
“We will have billions allocated to different sectors of our economy. The bottom-up approach is a globally adopted strategy. Additionally, we will address social issues including affordable and universal health care,” he said.
He pledged to revive stalled dam projects in the region and ensure the water supply for residents.
“We had the Chemasusu and Itare dams to provide water to the people of Nakuru. Itare, which has stalled due to bad policies, will be my first assignment once elected,” Ruto said.
Mr Gachagua said the withdrawal of Ruto’s allies from government was aimed at frustrating Kenyans. He maintained that the presidential contest was a two-horse race.
“They removed us from various leadership positions and even planned to impeach Ruto but were unsuccessful. The August polls will be a two-horse race. Any other narrative is wrong,” he said. Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula called on voters to turn out in large numbers on Election Day, saying the Rift Region had a greater responsibility in propelling Ruto to power. charity starts at home. Mt Kenya and Western are locked down for Ruto. Don’t stay home and assume Ruto won without you voting,” Wetang’ula said.
The Ford Kenya leader claimed that some officials wanted to use the provincial administration to manipulate election preparations. Senator Kericho Aaron Cheruiyot and MP Emurua Dikir Johana Ngeno urged the IEBC to ensure adequate preparation. “He must prepare very well for the election,” Mr. Ngeno said. Nandi Governor Stephen Sang urged the IEBC to ensure that the integrity of the election is not compromised.
“We ask IEBC to ensure that all systems are watertight. Do not allow the government or its agents to interfere with your independence,” Sang said. Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa said, “We know of polling centers without a network. We urge the Ministry of ICT and the Communications Authority to address this issue.
Senator Elgeyo Marakwet, Kipchumba Murkomen, called for a code of conduct to guide government agencies involved in the elections.
“Politicians are bound by a code of conduct during an election. We also need a code of conduct that will compel the Communications Authority of Kenya and other institutions to be impartial,” Mr. Murkomen said.
Matiang’i and Mucheru have previously dismissed claims of alleged rigging, with the Interior SC saying “it is the usual nonsense and paranoia of politicians” that should be ignored by Kenyans.