Ruto doubts roster integrity ahead of election clearance

Written by on 3 June 2022

Deputy President William Ruto has a date with the electoral commission for clearance tomorrow against the background of the questions he has raised about the integrity of the voters’ register.

Ruto claimed one million names in the voters’ register were missing, a claim the polls agency dismissed later in the day, saying this represented the number of people who had requested to change their voting stations.

The DP claimed that most of those affected were from Kenya Kwanza Alliance strongholds, linking the development to an alleged plot to interfere with the polls in favour of their opponents.

Speaking when he hosted ambassadors from the European Union (EU) at his official Karen residence in Nairobi, Ruto told the envoys to pay close attention to the coming elections pointing at the possibility of State interference.

Ruto is set to present his papers to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) tomorrow for nomination as the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) presidential candidate for the August 9 polls. His rival, Azimio-One Kenya presidential aspirant Raila Odinga will seek clearance on Sunday.

“We are ready to work with IEBC and friends to make sure we deliver credible elections. We expect that everybody concerned, including EU, will get as much information as possible from IEBC and public officials on what this is all about and how did close to a million votes disappear from the register and many of those names are people from what we consider our stronghold,” said Ruto.

On Thursday, he insisted they did not believe any attempts to mess with the elections would succeed although his allies demanded commitment from those in charge of the polls to oversee a foolproof exercise.

“There is a clear attempt to try some monkey games. We don’t believe they will succeed but these attempts are a source of concern to Kenyans,” Ruto said. 

Kandara MP Alice Wahome, who attended the meeting said the recent technical hitches reported when aspirants were seeking IEBC clearance could be a pointer to simmering trouble within the agency.

 “Transmission of votes from the polling station is one of the critical aspects of a free and fair election. These are the questions we should be asking before we can be asked whether we shall accept the results of the election,” said Wahome, who is defending her seat on Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

Dismissed claims

 But in a quick response, however, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati trashed the claims saying the register was intact and would not be tampered with.

He said those who could not locate their details should visit their offices to verify if they are still in the register.

“I want to state clearly that the data on registered voters is intact. We had 19.6 million voters in 2017, we now have a database of 22.5 million which is duplicated and is under audit. If one is registered and has that slip but the name cannot be found then they should report to our staff wherever they are and we shall attend to them,” said Chebukati.

The IEBC chair said they were not aware of any missing voters and asked Ruto to make available information they had to the commission. “We don’t have data on the missing voters but if you have, please advise them to see us at any of our registration centres and we shall attend to them. We don’t have statistics on the missing persons on the register,” he added.

 Chebukati, who said the final register will be ready by next Thursday, revealed they had only identified 167,000 multiple-registered voters he promised would be dealt with before the final register is out “by June 9.”

 EU ambassador to Kenya Henriette Geiger said they were interested in ensuring the country conducts credible elections and remains stable after the polls.

 “We take the elections very seriously and we hope everybody takes their responsibility because Kenya is a stable rock in turbid waters and we want to keep it like that,” she said.

 Ruto also used the occasion to respond to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Madaraka Day speech where he spoke strongly against corruption, rallying Kenyans not to elect graft-tainted individuals in the August polls.

The President, whose term ends after the polls, said the country would register no development if it continues to treat corruption lightly.

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