Deputy President William Ruto’s presidential campaign secretariat has called out ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru for openly backing former premier Raila Odinga’s State House bid.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the secretariat’s Director General Governor Josphat Nanok insinuated that by endorsing Odinga, CS Mucheru was allegedly planning to influence the conduct and the outcome of polls given his ministry’s important role in facilitating the August exercise.
Mucheru’s ministry will be tasked with supervising and overseeing the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) which will provide the technological framework for IEBC to conduct digital registration, digital tallying and relaying of election results electronically.
The ICT ministry’s role, Nanok noted, affects the verifiability, transparency, accountability and credibility of the August polls, as such the CS should at the very least tread carefully when it comes to interacting with Odinga in order to avoid raising eyebrows.
“We call out CS Mucheru and his colleagues for their open, flagrant and shameless association and promotion of one political coalition and its presidential candidate,” Nanok said.
“We have also noted public statements of their commitment to abuse State office, misappropriate public resources, pervert State institutions and defile the integrity of government in the quest to secure an illegitimate win for their project.’”
Nanok went on to reference a video of Mucheru doing rounds on social media, in which the ICT minister declared that he was working in tandem with Odinga to ensure that the August polls are conducted in “a free and transparent manner.”
He correspondingly questioned why Mucheru would share any information regarding the planning of the elections with Odinga, who he said does not hold any position in the CS’ ministry let alone the government.
“What legal framework mandates a presidential candidate to assign, direct, supervise and receive reports on election manipulation from Cabinet Secretaries who are directly involved in elections?” Nanok posed.
“Mucheru’s brazen statement highlights an unfortunate trend by Cabinet Secretaries to pursue impunity, circumvent the rule of law, corrupt public institutions, facilitate the commission of criminal offenses and subvert our democracy.’’
Nanok likewise urged IEBC to take stern action against persons planning to commit election offences.