According to Oswago, he admits that there could have been external interference in polls, which saw President Uhuru Kenyatta declared winner after a court petition.
Oswago for the first time sensationally claimed that the failures witnessed in the hotly contested Presidential elections were not the commission’s ineptitude but some external forces. In an exclusive interview with the Standard, the former electoral agency official also denied ever receiving a bribe from the UK based printing firm Smith and Ouzman. “External manipulation of the results could have come from outside the commission. It’s a rank insanity that after what happened in 2007, the electoral commission could plan to change the outcome,” said Oswago.
Oswago also faulted the Supreme Court ruling that cited that there were widespread irregularities in the procurement of the election equipment and bordered on criminality.
He said that the fact that Electronic Voter Identification Devices (EVIDs) have subsequently worked in subsequent by-electionS vindicates the commission that the problem did not lie with procurement but power management. And with only about 500 days to go for the next polls, Oswago cautioned the commission not to preside over the polls if the failures of the last exercise were not addressed by a multi-disciplinary committee.
He recalled that he suggested to the Commission to form an independent multi-sectoral committee to probe the failures and come up with recommendations but that is yet to take place. “Am worried that we are approaching the next general elections but these issues remain unresolved.
I suggested to the commission to have a multi-discipline and bipartisan team to probe the failures and give independent views but that is yet to happen,” said Oswago.
He went on: “IEBC might have done their own internal assessment but an independent team would have given an independent assessment other than the commission.”
At the same time Oswago maintained his innocence over the ‘Chickengate’ scandal saying that the Southwark Crown Court in London sentenced the Smith and Ouzman Directors to jail terms on the account of a scandal in Mauritania and not Kenya.
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