Cartels flexed their power in Kenyan elections, says Raila Odinga

Cartels flexed their power in Kenyan elections, says Raila Odinga
Azimio presidential aspirant Raila Odinga, running mate Martha Karua, Kalonzo Musyoka and advocate Paul Mwangi during the filing of the Presidential Petition at the Supreme Court of Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya| URN | Raila Odinga, the runner-up in the 2022 general elections in Kenya has explained that his move to petition the Supreme Court of Kenya is aimed at not only making him president but saving Kenya from criminal cartels.

Mr Odinga as 1st Petitioner and Martha Karua, 2nd Petitioner, filed the petition at the Supreme Court on Monday 22, August 2022 afternoon beating the deadline set by the court, as he seeks the annulment of the outcome of the results that declared William Ruto President-Elect.

After filing the petition, Mr Odinga told the media that the act they have taken is aimed at pursuing all peaceful means to ensure democracy and rule of law are protected. He lashed at those whom he said had tried to stop them from going to court.

He said that fighting corruption has been their main issue during the campaigns, yet corruption was the reason that the presidential election results did not name him president-elect. According to him, the cartels will stop at nothing to take over the running of the government of Kenya because then, their interests would be protected.

Mr Odinga, the leader of the Azimio la Umoja-Kenya One coalition, accused the ‘corruption cartel’ of suppressing the opposition support, bribery of electoral officials and murder of the officials and candidates, adding that the cartel must be “crashed.”

Raila Odinga wins William Ruto in 11 of 12 Kenya's diaspora vote
Deputy President William Ruto (left) and Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (right)

Contrary to what some reports had earlier indicated, Mr Odinga and his coalition named all the seven members of the commission alongside the IEBC, Dr Ruto and designated Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua as respondents.

Mr Odinga accused his opponent’s group of buying off elected members in the parliament and the county councils to his side as early as possible so that he kills off any form of opposition and democratic institutions in Kenya that would check their activities.

In addition, the petitioners say the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials manipulated the electronic system and gadgets to influence the outcome of the polls.

He urged all Kenyans and the international community interested in Kenya’s stability to suppress the success of the cartel and prevent it from capturing power in Kenya. He accuses the alleged cartel of murder, drug trafficking and access to government intelligence.

Among the accusations against the IEBC and Chebukati is “making entries which he knew to be false contrary to the Election Offenses Act 2016. He is also alleged to have omitted to include results in a breach of his official duties when he did not include results from polling stations and went ahead to declare “false ones”.

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According to the petition, chairperson Chebukati also gave undue advantage to a presidential candidate when he refused to share and circulate the final results with chief agents of presidential candidates, observers, the media and the other Commissioners.

He is also accused of “indirectly procuring materials in connection with the elections without authority from the commission”, containing sensitive information through foreign nationals from Venezuela.

Four out of the seven members of the commission led by the vice chairperson Julianna Cherera also distanced themselves minutes before the declaration citing “opaqueness” in the process.

The respondents in the petition have up to four days to file their response to the accusations, while the court’s first seating of the pre-trial conference will sit on August 28, 2022.