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Uhuru, Ruto scoff at Opposition over ballot tender meets

Seth Onyango and Peter Leshan @PeopleDailyKe

Jubilee maintained yesterday it shall not participate in any meeting convened to deliberate on which company to award the ballot papers printing contract to.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto vowed the General Election would be held as scheduled regardless of pitfalls being experienced as a result of court rulings.

They said Jubilee wanted nothing short of Kenyans going to the polls on August 8, warning the Independent Electoral and Boundaries (IEBC) against being drawn into a conspiracy to deny the citizenry their right to vote.

Ruto, who spoke at Ol Mekenyu in Narok county, said the role of choosing who prints the ballot papers was an exclusive duty of the electoral agency. Uhuru warned the Opposition against threatening Kenyans with violence and reminded them it was voters who would determine the outcome of the election.

Ruto said shady businessmen allied to the Opposition had reportedly written to IEBC asking to be given the contract to print ballot papers. “The tenderpreneurs who wrote the Nasa manifesto have now written to the IEBC to be given the tender for ballot papers,” said the DP, in apparent reference to reports that Nasa was being funded by corrupt individuals.

The DP said the Jubilee Party did not care who supplied the ballot papers but wanted elections held on August 8. “We will not sit in any meeting on tenders because we do not have a printing press of our own or tenderprenueurs,” said the DP. He urged the courts to avoid being misused by the Opposition to scuttle the election process.

Ruto said the many cases the Opposition had lined up at the courts were designed to deny Kenyans their fundamental rights to vote as provided for in the Constitution. President Uhuru assured Kenyans the Government would ensure peace during and after the elections.

He said one of the core aims for the Jubilee Party was to unite Kenyans and it was a task it would not abandon. Narok Governor Samuel Tunai claimed Opposition leader Raila Odinga incited the violence that rocked the region after the 2007 elections and later abandoned the people.

He urged locals to vote in large numbers for Jubilee Party saying it cared about the welfare and peace of all Kenyans. The President and his deputy spoke as they started their tour of Narok County.

And in Nairobi, Nasa turned the heat on IEBC over the ballot printing tender, demanding the suspension of its chief executive officer Ezra Chiloba for alleged incompetence. In a letter to the IEBC, the Opposition called for Chiloba’s exit.

In the letter addressed to IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati, Nasa accused Chiloba of scuttling the ballot paper printing tender in what has plunged the country into anxiety just weeks to the General Election.

Chiloba is the chief accounting officer at the electoral agency, charged with the task of overseeing crucial electoral processes. “We demand that the CEO be sent on compulsory leave and appropriate disciplinary measures be taken against him for incompetence,” said Head of Raila Odinga Presidential Secretariat Willis Otieno.

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