Yesterday, His Excellency the Deputy President who is also the presidential candidate of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), made the following allegations against the Government and some of its senior officials:
- That the Government and its senior officials have been mobilised to campaign for the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Alliance presidential candidate ;
- That the National Government Administrative Officers and especially Chiefs and their Assistants are being mobilised to rig next week’s General Elections against the UDA presidential candidate through suppression of voter turnout and/or by buying/holding Identification Cards (IDs);
- That the Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Secretary, and National Government Administrative Officers in the Rift Valley region are holding and hosting in illegal meetings whose agenda is to plan and provoke ethnic tensions in the Rift Valley region;
- That the Government, through the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) and the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), plans to interfere with the conduct of the General Elections by disrupting the communication networks and electricity supply.
These unsubstantiated allegations are consistent with frequent, unfounded, and unconscionable attacks against the Government and public officers by His Excellency the Deputy President. The Government is run through established and well-known structures and accountability channels. It is not a secret society cloaked in conspiracies and dark agendas. As a senior member of the same Government, His Excellency the Deputy President ought to know and manifest an understanding of how Government’s decisions are arrived at and executed.
His Excellency the Deputy President is a member of the National Security Council (NSC) that is vested with the overall policy and decision-making powers on national security. He therefore enjoys access to a privileged and influential platform to express himself and to canvass his concerns. There is no record of him voicing the grave allegations made yesterday at the NSC or any other official security platform.
Equally, official channels to register concerns with the conduct of public officers are well laid out. Chastising and threatening them in public is not one of them. As a senior leader in the country, His Excellency the Deputy President’s pronouncements have the capacity to exert influence on his supporters and their relationships with government officers. Personalised attacks that cast aspersions on public officers who have no opportunity to defend their honour against their seniors injures reputations potentially and exposes the victims and their families to harm.
Those working in the Government are bound by the edicts and practice of collective responsibility. Repeatedly dragging the names of innocent civil servants who are not vying for any elective office into political duels is unfortunate. Like in any other contest, those aspiring for high political office have an obligation to address others, including their subordinates, with appropriate decorum.
The Government reiterates its commitment to support the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct and deliver free and fair elections. This is being undertaken by ensuring IEBC has the requisite resources to undertake its sole mandate. The National Government Administrative Officers have been mobilised to support the exercise in general and not for any candidate or political formation. Where meetings are held pursuant to this agenda, they are done in public venues and in daytime and the media invited for briefings.
There does not exist a government plan to rig elections through deliberate acts of omission or commission. Allegations that the chiefs and assistant chiefs are buying or withholding IDs to suppress voter turnout in UDA strongholds is ridiculous. If true, it would constitute a criminal and electoral offence. There is however no official record made or proof offered by the DP or his associates in support of deterrence and deserved punishment for anyone engaging in the alleged act(s). Like everyone else, the DP has an obligation to report on potential crime.
The National Government Administrative Officers chair security and peace committees in their areas of jurisdiction. Their responsibilities render it necessary to hold regular interactions with their seniors including Cabinet Secretaries and the Principal Secretaries. This helps to coordinate and review relevant matters of administration and security.
The Government has no intention of interfering with facilities and utilities that support the conduct of the general elections. It will not shut down the Internet or disrupt power supply. There is no policy or intention to engage in any voter suppression campaigns. The National Government does not own venues such as stadia and grounds. Those belong to the County Governments and the decision to lease them out or not to lease them out is not the province of the National Government.
DR. FRED MATIANGI, EGH CABINET SECRETARY
5th August 2022