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Election date won’t change, say UhuRuto

Anthony Mwangi and Noah Kipkogei @peopledailyke

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto have hit at the Judiciary, warning it against being used to derail the August 8 General Election. In a rare vent against the Judiciary, the duo said the courts were obviously getting entangled in the attempts by the Opposition to derail the elections. They vowed that the polls will happen of August 8.

The duo also cautioned the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) not to play into Opposition schemes to throw the election process into disarray. The Jubilee principals spoke even as Nasa leaders, led by presidential flag-bearer Raila Odinga, asked IEBC to respect the High Court ruling on presidential ballot paper printing, calling for a quick fresh tendering advertisement.

Last evening, Chief Justice David Maraga issued a statement defending the Judiciary saying it will continue making its determinations on the basis of the Constitution, the law and evidence before it.

“It is important for the leaders of the public to appreciate that any decision made by courts must meet the foregoing test,” wrote Maraga. Uhuru and Ruto took issue with a recent statement by Chief Justice David Maraga directing the IEBC not to print ballots papers until a case that was then pending in court was decided.

The CJ’s statement was quickly followed by a court order asking the IEBC not to proceed with the printing of presidential ballot papers. Uhuru and Ruto, who spoke at Kabartonjo, Baringo county, said some orders being issued by the courts appear to be designed to scuttle the election, which he termed unacceptable.

“You cannot claim independence and use it to interfere with the functioning of the Executive and other arms of government,” said the President, adding that the outcome of the election will be decided by the people and not the courts.

He said Kenyans expect the elections to be held on August 8 and it would not be acceptable for the Judiciary to mess up the process. He cited the example of the order on ballot papers coming weeks before August 8 as the latest of the court orders that have been issued in favour of the Opposition’s attempts to complicate the election and to intimidate the IEBC.

“We have respected you for too long but do not take our silence for granted. We will not allow our competitors to use the courts to intimidate the IEBC,” said the President. The Head of State said Kenyans will go to the polls on August 8 whether the Opposition is ready or not and despite the constant threats of violence from leading opposition figures.

He assured Kenyans that the elections will be free and fair and that the government will ensure they take place in a peaceful environment. He said the frequent allegations by the Opposition that the Jubilee government wants to rig elections were false and contradicted by facts. “This is the first government that is serving a term that is less than five years.

If we wanted to rig elections we would have started by demanding that we serve for five full years but we have accepted that because we want democracy to prevail,” said the President. The Deputy President said the IEBC should play its Constitutional role to ensure election takes place on August 8. “Do not conspire with those who are not ready for elections.

The IEBC must respect its constitutional duty to hold elections as stipulated,” said the DP. The DP also challenged the CJ to tell Kenyans why he publicly gave directions to the IEBC not to print ballot papers even before the judges handling an election related case made their ruling.

“We are asking the CJ, what does it mean when the CJ gives directions that the IEBC should not print ballot papers? Is David Maraga ready for August 8 elections or is he part of games being played by Opposition who don’t want elections?” asked Ruto in reference the Chief Justice.

He said the IEBC, the Judiciary and all politicians should work in tandem to ensure that elections are held as stipulated. Uhuru also talked of apparent plans by the Opposition to cause violence should their candidate lose the election, saying he was ready to go to court to defend the statement.

The President resumed campaigns yesterday after taking a break on Saturday when he postponed a trip to Turkana to mourn the sudden death of Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery who died in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

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