Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi has welcomed the decision by the electoral agency to pull out of a multi-agency committee formed to plan next year’s General Election.
Speaking during the launch of ANC digital platforms at the party headquarters in Nairobi, yesterday, Mudavadi said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should be left to operate as an independent institution devoid of interference from other government bodies.
Last week, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati withdrew from the multi-agency committee put in place to prepare for the elections, saying the law only rests the burden of election preparation on the commission.
The ANC leader said election matters should be left to the commission and not be hijacked by people with interests in the outcome.
“All we want as a country is free, fair, and transparent elections, and that is a duty the IEBC should live up to and not anyone else,” he said.
“The reason why we have been having violence after every election is because the electoral agency fails to fairly execute its mandate because other forces hijack the operations of the commission,” he added.
Mudavadi’s remarks come in defense of Chebukati who has been on the receiving end from ODM party, accusing him of being a sympathiser of Deputy President William Ruto.
Mudavadi said the events of political assassinations should not be allowed to creep back through the IEBC.
“The commission should not be interfered with by anybody. It is an independent institution that should be left to organize the elections so that if anything goes wrong, we know who to ask and not having many players usurping the powers of the commission,” he said.
At the same time, the ANC leader took a swipe at President Uhuru Kenyatta’s remarks that the economy has recorded growth during his nine years in office with Kenya’s GDP standing at over Sh11 trillion.
Mudavadi said the President’s remarks during his State of the Nation Address on Tuesday were political and not economically factual.
He said the GDP growth the president was referring to is only on paper and that more than half of the money goes to public debt.
“As an economist and former Finance minister, the Sh11 trillion the President is talking of is just in writing and cannot be felt. Over Sh7. 5 trillion goes to the public debt and we cannot say the economy has grown with a partly Sh3 trillion,” he added.
Mudavadi disputed Uhuru’s projected growth saying the cost of living has become unbearable for Kenyans.
“If the economy is doing that good as the President wants us to believe, then why is the cost of living becoming unbearable for Kenyans? Why the high level of unemployment?” He posed.
Mudavadi promised that his administration will revive the economy and create job opportunities for the millions of unemployed youth.
He pledged to ensure that all government services are digitized to bring services closer to the people.
The party also launched a training manual for political aspirants and a youth charter.
“My administration will embrace youth leadership from the lowest level to the Cabinet. The youth are not leaders of tomorrow but today. We will not put the young people on the periphery but make them part of our leadership,” he said.
“The young people are not running fast for leadership. No. What the young are saying is that the old have become very slow in addressing matters development, creating jobs, embracing them and giving them leadership opportunities,” he added.
The event was graced by the ANC MPs, Senators, MCAs, youth leaders, and aspirants for various positions.
Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala urged ODM leader Raila Odinga called to support Mudavadi for the presidency.
He said the One Kenya Alliance is open to all Kenyans and leaders but they must support one of the principals.
Malala called on President Kenyatta to steer clear of succession politics and not to impose a leader on Kenyans.
“I want to caution the President that those people you are fronting to succeed you will end up jailing you. Let Kenyans decide and don’t threaten others to support your choice,” said Malala.