Boniface Mwangi, a human rights activist, has heaped blame on President Uhuru Kenyatta, claiming that he played a key role in setting up Azimio La Umoja flagbearer Raila Odinga for failure.
Mwangi first claimed in a statement dated Tuesday, August 13, that Raila and his running mate, Martha Karua, were given false and doctored information about the progress of the August 9 General Election by a prominent figure in the Azimio secretariat led by Uhuru.
After the election, on August 9, the activist claimed that Karua received a phone call while vote tallying was still in progress and was convinced that Raila had won the election in his fifth attempt.
“Throughout the entire week, even as Kenya Kwanza shared their numbers, Raila and Martha were given numbers from Azimio’s secretariat that assured them they had won. I couldn’t imagine that lies would come from a secretariat where the chairman of the coalition was the sitting President of Kenya. My very boisterous posts were based on these assurances,” Mwangi wrote.
Karua was so moved by the phone call that she declared the election in their favor before the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had even tallied the presidential results.
On August 13, Karua met with Azimio leaders at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), confident that they had won the day. Mwangi also claimed that the team was given false information, which led to him and other Azimio supporters and bloggers posting false information on their social media pages.
“When Martha went to KICC to meet Azimio leaders and said we had won, she was basing her statement on the figures and numbers she was given by the Azimio secretariat. After the Bomas fiasco, came the court case. We were presented with evidence by the same respected Kenyans in our team– evidence of how we had won.
“Once again, I was vocal about how we had won. I believed the said evidence. Martha also believed them. Everything I posted was based on the information that was availed to us. Looking back, it is now obvious that we were fed with misleading information, up until the very last minute. The question arises: was this a long con?” Mwangi wondered.
Raila’s camp, according to Mwangi, relaxed their guard because Uhuru’s endorsement appeared to guarantee them a first-round victory in the presidential election.
Uhuru was instrumental in the appointment of the secretariat, which failed to fulfill its mandate.
He claimed that because of Uhuru’s advice and open campaigns for Raila’s candidacy, Azimio was perceived as a state project and thus struggled to shed the label.
He went on to say that the President’s presence at the helm of Azimio’s leadership hampered Raila’s presidential bid because it was seen as a continuation of Uhuru’s legacy of inflation and graft.
“Because of Uhuru’s incessant and ill-advised utterances, Raila and Martha struggled to shake off the projects tag. Far from being state projects, Raila and Martha’s reformist credentials needed no emphasis. Unfortunately, Uhuru was the chairman of Azimio, a position that I stated publicly that he should resign from.”
“His presence in Azimio made Kenyans believe Raila and Martha would be a continuation of Uhuru’s presidency. Uhuru ended up sabotaging what would otherwise have been a very robust campaign,” He opined.
According to the renowned activists, Azimio relied on Uhuru to spearhead the secretariat operations, but they ultimately failed to strategize and mobilize their bases to vote.
“We failed to protect our agents from the temptation of easy bribes from our opponents. We allowed them to be compromised at the polling stations. We also failed to protect our votes because we had too much faith that the IEBC would conduct a credible, free and fair election,” his statement read in part.
Uhuru also gave the impression that he was the one who pushed Karua as Raila’s running mate, which harmed the Azimio faction.