State Denies KDF Rigging Plot
The Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) has no plans whatsoever to rig the 2017 general elections as alleged by the Opposition, National Super Alliance (NASA), Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Defense Raychelle Omamo insists.
In a two page statement issued in Kisumu this morning, Omamo who was accompanied by her counterpart in charge of Internal Security Dr. Fred Matiang’i said that KDF has no role to play in the management and supervision of the general elections.
She said elections are the sole responsibility of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). “KDF shall not disenfranchise any citizen who wishes to exercise his/her constitutional right to vote,” she said.
“The allegation that KDF intends to isolate Kibra and Mathare areas by disconnecting power and water supply is false and ought to be treated as such. We urge the residents of the two areas to ignore these alarming claims,” she said.
Omamo said the Ministry noted with concern the statement issued by NASA leaders on July 28, 2017 claiming that there was a plan by Jubilee Administration and top military commanders to rig the elections by disenfranchising a section of Kenyans and also prohibiting the participation of NASA agents in polling stations in Central Kenya.
She reiterated that in order to prepare its personnel to deliver on its constitutional mandate, training in the Kenya Defense Forces was ongoing in all the establishments of KDF as a matter of routine.
The constitution of Kenya under Article 241(3)(a), (b) and (c) mandates KDF to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Kenya, assist and cooperate with other public authorities in situations of emergency and disaster and report to the National Assembly to be able to restore peace in any area affected by unrest with the approval of Parliament.
Omamo further stated that section 33(1) of the KDF Act, 2012 authorizes the deployment of KDF in joint operations with the National Police Service or any other authority in situations of emergency or disaster.
As such, she said, the people of Kenya expect KDF to deliver on this mandate and so Kenya Defense Forces will fulfill this expectation without fear and strictly in accordance with the provisions of the law.
“It is standard practice by defense forces the world over to prepare contingency plans with respect to any foreseeable situation that may negatively prejudice national security. The KDF is no exception,” she said.
Omamo said the Ministry of Defense views the public disclosure of the names of officers and their telephone contacts as reckless and unnecessarily risks to the safety of the officers and their family.
Furthermore, she added, such disclosure may be exploited by hostile enemy entities such as Al Shabaab to the detriment of the officers and their families.
“You are respected and valued by the people of Kenya so stand up and fearlessly discharge your constitutional mandate without fear of intimidation,” she added. “I have not seen the document NASA referring to. The critical issue here is how to discharge our soldiers’ constitutional mandate like any other soldiers,” she said.
“We don’t want to be dragged into the putrid miasma of political engagement. We want to be a political and professional the way KDF soldiers have always been,” she said.
Dr. Matiang’i said the government does not conduct elections but facilitate IEBC to successfully conduct this elections in accordance with the law.
“We are blessed with such a great nation and it’s unfortunate that some people claim that some communities are leaving certain parts of the country like Kisumu but his is far from the truth,” he said.
Matiang’i said the armed forces are impartial, competent, professional and respected and so it was unfortunate “that we are here two Cabinet Secretaries discussing such matters,” adding “now they are being dragged into politics yet we only have ten days to elections”.
He advised Kenyans to ignore claims with no basis and could stir up unnecessary excitement and animosity among peace loving citizens.
The National Police Service manages the police officers seconded to guard all presidential candidates, in response to a question by the media that some officers were allegedly demanding shs.6, 500 in form of allowances making the candidates protest this.
But Matiang’i dismissed the allegations as totally irrelevant and meant to cause unnecessary political excitement.
By Joseph Ouma