Africa-Press – Kenya. A section of Azimio la Umoja leaders protested after being temporarily denied access to the National Tallying Centre at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi.
Addressing the press on Sunday, August 14, the Chairman of the Azimio Campaign Board and outgoing Laikipia governor, Ndiritu Muriithi, cried foul, maintaining that he had been blocked from accessing the National Tallying Centre despite receiving accreditation from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
While asking IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati to intervene, Muriithi, who was floored in the Laikipia gubernatorial race by his predecessor – Joshua Irungu – stated that his role had been interfered with by the police.
Muriithi was accompanied by Jubilee Vice chairperson, David Murathe, Kisumu governor-elect Anyang Nyong’o, and his Siaya counterpart, James Orengo, among others.
“What is the point of accrediting us? As an agent, how would you explain me being locked out?” Muriithi wondered.
“So, Chebukati and his team must come clean to Kenyans. We have explained to the law enforcement officers that what happens from here is up to them.”
On the other hand, Nyong’o decried being denied entry, maintaining that Azimio had assigned them to oversee the vote tallying process.
However, after former Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu’s intervention, some leaders drawn from Azimio were allowed to access the National Tallying Centre.
On Saturday, August 13, IEBC Commissioner Abdi Guliye ordered politicians and anyone who had no specific duty to vacate the tallying centre where Forms 34A and 34B were being verified.
Guliye explained that the directive was in line with IEBC’s plan to hasten the verification process and reduce interference from unauthorised individuals, including politicians.
The Commissioner added that IEBC would only allow the Chief Agents of the presidential candidates, their deputies and clerks assisting in the verification process to access the auditorium.
“We have also given instructions at the gate that no one should be allowed at the venue. That is the instructions we have given to the police,” Guliye stated.
A series of chaos at the Bomas of Kenya by Azimio and Kenya Kwanza lawmakers also occasioned the IEBC directive.
During the scuffle, Raila’s Chief Agent, Saitabao Ole Kanchory, clashed with police who had denied him access to the tallying centre.
“I want to tell the country that Bomas is a scene of a crime,” Saitabao stated before being escorted out of the podium by an unidentified person.
Kenya Kwanza leaders, on the other side, accused Azimio of distracting the tallying process.