President Uhuru Kenyatta Thursday night gave a detailed response to Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s claims of electoral irregularities in the Supreme Court petition challenging his victory. In his 10-page affidavit, Uhuru took issue with Raila for disparaging his win and alleging that he and his deputy William Ruto are “computer-generated” leaders, saying that the huge margin of over one million votes left no doubt that he won fair and square.
“Despite such a clear poll victory, the 1st Petitioner (Raila) has continuously disparaged the electoral win and coined such demeaning remarks as ‘computer-generated leaders’. The Deputy President and I are not computer-generated leaders (“vifaranga vya computer”).
The electoral victory was effected by the Kenyan voters,” Uhuru swore. The President said the difference between his votes and Raila’s was 1,401,286, a significant margin that demonstrated the sovereign will of the people. To show the performance of his party as a sign of his win, the President illustrated in his affidavit the map of Kenya with almost two-thirds of it presented in red showing Jubilee Party wins and one-third in blue showing areas where Raila and the National Super Alliance won.
Aggressive campaigns Uhuru attributed his victory to aggressive campaigns with his deputy that saw them attend more than 600 rallies across the country. “In addition, during the campaign period, the Deputy President and I made significant inroads in areas hitherto regarded as Opposition zones,” Uhuru said. He said Jubilee won a majority of positions in the other five elections for governor, Senate, woman representative, National Assembly, and Members of the County Assembly.
The President submitted a map of Kenya showing large swathes painted in the ruling coalition’s colours to demonstrate Jubilee’s resounding victory across all seats. ALSO READ: Ken Lusaka: NASA was built on shifting sands Uhuru explained Jubilee Party won 25 seats each for the positions of governor, senator and woman representative. In addition, the ruling coalition secured a majority of seats in the National Assembly (140), with the second party, ODM, garnering 61 seats. Uhuru explained Jubilee had 582 elected Members of the County Assembly against the second party, ODM’s 338. He explained that the electoral victory was consequent to the great efforts made to transform the country; delivery of promises in the Jubilee manifesto and the inclusive government that he presided over.
Uhuru described Jubilee’s victory in the General Election as “remarkable, demonstrable and cannot be assailed in any democratic society”. “Our strategy succeeded as demonstrated by the electoral results in all the six elections as depicted by the various graphs in paragraph 7 and 8 above,” Uhuru argued. Contrary to claims by Raila that the election was not free and fair, the President stated that the polls were conducted peacefully and in accordance with the law and international practice.
He swore that the vague and general accusation made against him by Raila were untrue, without any backing and could not be proved in any court. “I deny that I contravened the rule of law and the principles of the conduct of a free and fair election through the use of intimidation, coercion of public officers and improper influence of voters as pleaded by Mr Odinga.
The allegations are devoid of any evidentiary or legal basis,” he swore. The President further tore into the claims of electoral malpractice made by one of Raila’s witnesses, Nyangasi Oduwo, saying none of his claims were true. He denied ever corruptly influencing voters as claimed by the NASA leader, and accused Raila of dragging the Deputy President into the claims without giving him opportunity to respond as one of the respondents in the petition.
Government officials The President said he did not intimidate any Government officials on the campaign trail, and also denied violating the electoral code of conduct by launching projects and dishing out goodies to the public during the campaigns. “I deny that while addressing campaign rallies in Makueni, I threatened local chiefs who were allegedly not campaigning for me. My remarks on that occasion were reported out of context. The true position is that I was cautioning chiefs not to depart from their obligation to maintain political neutrality,” said Uhuru.
He added that he was not aware of any Cabinet secretaries who actively campaigned for him and that in any event, Section 23 of the Leadership and Integrity Act exempted Cabinet secretaries from the requirement of political neutrality. The President also defended a massive media campaign launched by the Government during the elections to promote Jubilee achievements over the last five years, saying that they too, (Opposition) had freedom of expression to tell the public what they had achieved.
He reiterated that the work of Government, including launching projects and compensating citizens affected by the 2007-2008 post-election violence, was continuous and not suspended during the election period, and could form a basis for challenging his election victory. Deputy presidential chief agent Winifred Guchu argued that there were no significant numerical discrepancies between Form 34A (polling station results) and Form 34B (constituency tally) as alleged by Dr Oduwo in his affidavit in support of Raila’s petition.
“I now produce a report that demonstrates that after reconciling discrepancies in the forms attached to Oduwo’s affidavit, the net effect is that the petitioner’s tally improves by 595 votes while that of JP candidates decreases by 1199 votes.”
IRONY: CNN Publishes Larry Madowo’s article after “Daily Nation’ rejects it
Celebrated NTV news anchor Larry Madowo was on Wednesday dealt a major blow by his employer Nation Media Group (NMG), days after his controversial opinion piece on Interior and Coordination Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.
In a tweet, Mr. Madowo disclosed that the Daily Nation, a paper published by the Aga Khan-owned media house, refused to publish his opinion piece on his FrontRow column.
The outspoken journalist noted that it was the first time in nearly four years that such a thing happened during his employment at NMG.
“This week, the @dailynation refused to print my column for the first time in nearly 4 years,” he tweeted.
Though the Daily Nation refused to publish Madowo’s Wednesday opinion piece titled: Why it’s a perilous time to be a journalist in Kenya, International Media company CNN took up the article and published it.
“The irony aside, the same piece is now published on CNN,” he said.
In the piece, Madowo speaks of how he spent the night at his office after plain clothed police officers camped outside NMG’s building along Kimathi street with the intention of arresting him NTV Managing Editor Linus Kaikai and anchor Ken Mijungu.
The trio was being hunted down by police for refusing to adhere to Government’s order not to broadcast the controversial swearing-in of NASA leader Raila Odinga as the People’s President.
“They had orders to arrest my colleagues Linus Kaikai who also chairs the Editors Guild, reporter Ken Mijungu and myself without a warrant which would have set a dangerous precedent.
“The next day, we had to sneak out into a safe house as our lawyers battled to keep us from getting detained,” Madowo mentions in his piece.
Before Odinga’s oath-taking Madowo entered into a scuffle with his bosses over media independence during an official meeting.
The NTV news anchor was particularly agitated that the company had not taken any meaningful action to protect Justus Wanga – a Nation reporter who faced threats from Deputy President William Ruto’s press secretary David Mugonyi.
A source privy to the details of the meeting told Pulselive.co.ke that the management was considering scrapping Madowo’s column from the Daily Nation.
Read the full article here courtesy of CNN
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VIDEO: AU summit ends in Addis amid claims of bugging by the Chinese
The 30th AU summit wound up Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after 8 days of deliberations on a myriad of topics.
Meanwhile, China has dismissed reports it bugged the African Union (AU) headquarters as “preposterous”.
Kuang Weilin, the Chinese ambassador to the AU, told reporters in Ethiopia the “absurd” claim in France’s Le Monde was “very difficult to understand”.
He spoke out three days after the newspaper published an article claiming data from the Chinese-built AU building was being copied to Shanghai.
The article said the discovery resulted in all the AU servers being switched.
Le Monde spoke to a number of anonymous sources, who claimed the alleged transfer was taking place late at night [link in French], and was only spotted in January 2017 due to the spike in activity between midnight and 02:00, despite no-one being in the building.
It was suggested the alleged data transfer had been taking place since 2012, when the building, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, was opened.
Officials also brought in security experts from Algeria to sweep the entire headquarters for potential bugs, the newspaper said, leading to the discovery of microphones in desks.
But Mr Kuang – who hailed the headquarters as a “monument” to his country’s relationship with the continent – said it was entirely untrue.
“I really question its intention,” he told reporters on Monday. “I think it will undermine and send a very negative message to people. I think it is not good for the image of the newspaper itself.
“Certainly, it will create problems for China-Africa relations.”
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