IEBC leadership debate takes centre stage at DP Ruto event in Embu


IEBC leadership debate takes centre stage at DP Ruto event in Embu
DP William Ruto at the Kiritiri Market after a prayer service at the Kiritiri Catholic Church, Mbeere South, Embu County on October 18, 2020. PHOTO | DPPS

Deputy President William Ruto has said he has no problem with who leads the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

He said the outcome of the 2022 polls would be decided by Kenyans and not the chairman or the commissioners of the IEBC.

“Anyone can assume the leadership of the Commission. We are ready and have confidence in our independent institutions,” said Dr Ruto.

He was addressing thousands of wananchi at Embu Town in the company of more than 30 Members of Parliament after attending prayer services in the County.

The Deputy President said he did not care who became the chair or commissioners.

“They can fix any chairman or commissioner they want for the IEBC. But they must accept the outcome of the results,” he explained.

Leaders present were Embu Deputy Governor David Kariuki, MPs Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi), Geoffrey King’ang’i (Mbere South), Eric Muchangi (Runyenjes), John Muchiri (Manyatta), Muriuki Njagagua (Mbeere North), Cecily Mbarire (nominated), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Alice Wahome (Kandara), Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Kimani Ichung’wah (Kikuyu) and Purity Ngirici (Kirinyaga).

Others were James Gakuya (Embakasi North), Add Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Lydiah Haika (Taita Taveta), Githua Wamacukuru (Kabete), Millicent Omanga (nominated) and former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama.

Prof Kindiki said those against Dr Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid can put whoever they want in the IEBC leadership.

“But they cannot stop an idea whose time has come. This is the time for the ordinary Kenyans to define their future by having a leadership that is pro-poor,” said the Tharaka Nithi Senator.

While pledging his support to Dr Ruto, Embu Deputy Governor said nothing would stop hustlers from transforming Kenya.

He said gone were the days when a few people would sit and decide the fate of the country through manipulation of election results through the IEBC.

“The Commission would only count votes of Kenyans,” explained Ms Jumwa.

At the same time, the Deputy President asked leaders to put aside their personal interests and serve Kenyans.

He said leaders should unite and confront challenges facing the people instead of dividing them along tribal lines.

“We must eliminate politics that divide and create hatred and enmity among Kenyans. We must insist as a people that we want politics that unite and bring the people together and focus on the development of our nation,” said Dr Ruto.

Me Mbarire said it was time the country changed the conversation in favour of the needs of ordinary Kenyans.

“Dr Ruto, continue to stand with the common man. We would support your hustler empowerment programme for the good of majority of Kenyans,” said Ms Mbarire.

Mr Njagagua lauded Dr Ruto’s bottom-top empowerment approach that he said would take care of Kenyans languishing in poverty.

Mr Kuria asked President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga to shed more light on claims by Embakasi East MP Babu Owino that there were plans to extend the President’s term in office.

He said Mr Owino revealed that the main objective of Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) was to make President Kenyatta the Prime Minister after the next elections.

“I am waiting for Raila and the President to come out and refute these claims otherwise we will know what BBI stands for ,” said Mr Kuria.

Ms Wahome asked those pushing for constitutional amendments to also push for the prosecution of COVID 19 looters.

On his part, Mr Ichungwa faulted those misusing state organs to frustrate leaders allied to Dr Ruto.

He said a section of civil servants were applying the law selectively.

“When we tour the country to build churches we are told that we are politicking . When we visit Dr Ruto in Karen or Sugoi we are also told that we are engaged in early campaigns,” said Mr Ichungwa.

He added:”But surprisingly, when others go to Bondo it is not considered as politics or early campaigns.”

His sentiments were echoed by Mr Gachagua who said Dr Ruto’s detractors had resorted to opposing his empowerment initiatives aimed at improving the people’s lives.

“It has been decided that the Deputy President should be frustrated because he has made a big mistake of building churches and supporting the power,” said Mr Gachagua.

Mr Muchiri said days were long gone when leaders relied on endorsements to ascend the presidency.

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