Jubilee lawmakers accuse Raila Odinga of unfairly targeting electoral officials

By Wilfred Ayaga
Cord leader Raila Odinga has called for the pprosecution of electoral body officials mentioned in the chicken scandal. (Photo:File/Standard)
Cord leader Raila Odinga has called for the pprosecution of electoral body officials mentioned in the chicken scandal. (Photo:File/Standard)

Cord leader Raila Odinga has called for the pprosecution of electoral body officials mentioned in the chicken scandal. (Photo:File/Standard) Calls for the prosecution of embattled Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission ( IEBC) officials are premature as investigations have not been completed despite convictions in a UK court over the ‘chicken’ scandal, Seven Jubilee MPs have said. MPs Maina Kamanda (Starehe), Beth Mugo (Nominated Senator), John Njoroge (Kasarani), James Gakuya (Embakasi North), Waihenya Ndirangu (Roysambu), Yussuf Hassan (Kamukunji) and Denis Waweru (Dagoreti south) said it was wrong for opposition leader Raila Odinga to demand the immediate arrest and prosecution of IEBC officials without proper investigations. The MPs said the fact that the two directors of the UK printing firm, smith and Ouzman, were jailed for corrupting officials of IEBC’s predecessor, the Interim Independent Electoral commission (IIEC), did not necessarily mean the current electoral commissioners were guilty. They criticised Mr Raila for calling for the arrest of the officials during the burial of former Kabete MP George Muchai, saying he was out to influence the investigations. “I would like to ask Raila to stop calling for the arrest of the officials before investigations are completed. He was the Prime minister at the time the scandal occurred. We still have confidence in the electoral body,” Ms Mugo said. “Let Raila not to politicise this issue. We are asking the investigators not to be influenced by politics. As Jubilee, we are confident with IEBC and are already strategising on how to retain power in 2017. We are telling Raila that he was lucky to get five million votes during the last general elections. With the kind of politics he is now playing, I don’t see him getting a similar number of votes,”said Mr Kamanda. See also: Raila praises Gor performance, roots for 18-team league Mugo and Kamanda termed Raila’s stand as sour grapes after he failed to clinch the presidency during the last general elections. The Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) has accused IEBC of misconduct in the March 2013 elections even though the Supreme Court upheld the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta. “We want justice to be done in this matter. It would be unfair to try the Chairman in the court of public opinion before investigations into the scandal are complete,” said Kamanda. During Muchai’s burial, Raila called for the arrest and prosecution of the officials among them Chairman Issak Hassan and former Chief Executive Officer, James Oswago. They are among the people alleged to have received bribes from the directors of the UK company in opaque procurement deals for elections materials. Other persons implicated in the scandal are former commissioner’s Davis Chirchir (now Energy Cabinet Secretary), lawyer Ken Nyaundi, Kenya National Examination Council officials, Paul Wasanga, Epharaim Wanderi, Geoffrey Gitogo and Michael Ndua. A local agent for the company, James Trevy is also implicated. Eat beans “They ate chicken, let them now be proceed to eat ‘beans’ in jail,” Raila said.

Waweru challenged the former Premier to record a statement with the police, saying he was in Government when the alleged scandal took place. “Although we are firm in our fight against corruption, let the former Prime minister not apply double standards in his calls for investigations. He should also call for investigations into corruption in counties that are led by CORD governors,” said Waweru. The MPs spoke during a church service at the African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa in Dandora, Nairobi. Others who attended the function were ODM’s Steven Kariuki (Mathare) and former Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu. The two did not, however, touch on the scandal in their speeches. The jubilee MPs stand on the ‘Chicken’ scandal is a response to CORD’s consistent stand that it has no confidence in IEBC. Raila said the Government is dragging its feet into the scandal yet there is evidence to nail the culprits. See also: Raila praises Gor performance, roots for 18-team league “What other evidence is the Government waiting for before they can arrest the IEBC officials?” he asked.
STANDARD DIGITAL

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