African Press Association
Raila Odinga

Tensions rise ahead of Kenya polls

Raila Odinga

Raila Odinga

NAIROBI – ALLEGATIONS of vote rigging have marred the registration exercise and heightened tensions ahead of crucial elections scheduled for Kenya in August.

Opposition leader and former prime minister, Raila Odinga, has claimed the National Intelligence Service was illegally registered people in neighbouring Uganda and Ethiopia to boost the votes of the ruling Jubilee Alliance.

Odinga said the NIS-driven process was responsible for the multiple registrations, shared identity card numbers and many cases of ghost voters.

“It is a disgrace and a betrayal of public trust when an institution that is supposed to safeguard the interests of the nation takes the lead in undermining those very interests,” he said.

More than 15,8 million Kenyans are registered to vote in the August elections which will pit incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and Odinga, who has lost
the elections thrice times before.

The number of voters could rise to more than 24 million after the end of the current registration exercise ending on February 14.

Tensions have characterized the run up to the poll in the East African country of 47 million.

Kenyatta has accused Western countries of planning regime change through non-governmental organisations working in the country.

Clashes following the disputed 2007/08 election left 1 000 dead and 600 000 displaced.

The International Criminal Court cited Kenyatta as a suspect but he was cleared.

– CAJ News