State officers presence in Raila rallies irk Ruto men

Thursday, October 28th, 2021 00:00 |
Deputy President William Ruto acknowledges greetings from Kirinyaga county grassroots leaders at the Karen residence in Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/DPPS

Legislators allied to Deputy President William Ruto have raised concern over the intensified engagement of Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) in politics.

 They said the Ministers were openly campaigning for Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga.

MPs Alice Wahome (Kandara), Irungu Kang’ata (Murang’a senator), Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Benjamin Tayari (Kinango) and Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu) said CS are supposed to be neutral.

They said the three CS were using their offices to support Odinga. “They are supposed to be apolitical yet they have become ODM agents,” said Nyoro.

 The MPs said Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiang’i (Interior), Eugene Wamalwa (Defence) and Joe Mucheru (Information and Communication), must decide whether they will be neutral in working with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) or resign and become official ODM agents.

Not qualified

The Kiharu MP was speaking at the Karen home of Deputy President William Ruto in Nairobi during a meeting of church leaders from Murang’a County yesterday.

 Kang’ata said the three CSs had declared who they will support and who they want in the 2022 General-Election. 

As a result, the Senator explained, they are not qualified to be part of the institutions working with the IEBC on the preparation for next year’s elections.

On his part, Gachagua said the IEBC is independent, and should therefore have no businesses with the CSs.

 “(Mr) Matiang’i is partisan and any election management he is part of cannot be free and fair,” said the Mathira MP. 

He asked the IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati not to entertain those who had taken sides to be part of the management of elections.

 His sentiments were supported by Wahome who noted that the President’s legacy would be assured only if there is a peaceful transition. 

 “He must ensure that there is a free, fair and democratic election. The international community has a role to play and ensure that we do not go the 2007 way or witness another fake swearing-in,” she observed.

Tayari argued that government functionaries should have a minimal role in the management of elections.

He urged the CSs to concentrate on their roles and not poke their noses in the management of elections.

 Ruto who was also in the meeting said the greatest threat to national development and politics in Kenya is ethnic politics practised in ethnic political parties. He added that national political parties are the answer to skewed development programmes and tribalism.

“The Bottom-Up economic model is the only approach that guarantees jobs for millions of young people and additional taxpayers.

 This way, the country will reduce dependence on borrowing,” he noted.        - DPPS

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