WORLD

Kenyan opposition alleges plot to rig elections

KENYAN OPPOSITION ALLEGES PLOT TO RIG ELECTIONS

Opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga on Friday accused President Uhuru Kenyatta, of planning to use the military to rig the general elections next month.

Odinga shared "concrete evidence" from top-secret military documents from high-ranking defense officials and the president, while speaking to reporters at Capitol Hill in Nairobi.

"We have received damning information and concrete evidence of an audacious plan that the Jubilee administration and the top military commanders have put in place to use force to subvert next month's election with a rigged outcome," Odinga said. Jubilee is the name of Kenyatta's party.

He said 226 new soldiers, under a select few regime-friendly commanders, were given a mission, "[that] includes cutting off power and water and then militarily isolating settlements such as Mathare and Kibera on Election Day, possibly on the pretext of containing the spread of cholera," in reference to opposition strongholds that were the sites of some of the worst-affected areas of post-election deadly violence in 2007.

"They are planning to transport ballot papers to rural areas, code named Special Transit Goods, or STG. They will register telephone lines in the names of dead soldiers," he said.

Soldiers were given strict orders to cut off power and water as well as jam telephone communications across the country and will forcefully isolate the residents on Election Day, according to the documents.

Kenyatta responded by saying the allegations were nothing more than an opposition plot to tarnish the military to further its political ambitions.

"They are telling us that security services are interfering with the elections, I want to say shame on you Mr. Odinga," he told a political rally in Kapsabet.

"Shame on you that you can use the security forces that are committed to serving and protecting our borders and our people and you want to drag them into politics. Shame on you."

Hours later, the military released a statement through its spokesman, Joseph Owuoth, acknowledging the documents were authentic but said they were quoted out of context.

"It is normal procedure quoted out of context," Owuoth told the Daily Nation newspaper in an interview and he promised a more comprehensive statement Saturday.

Kenyans head to the polls Aug. 8, to vote for a new government.

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