Members of the Garissa County Assembly have accused the Opposition leader Raila Odinga of political witch-hunting against the Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Issack Hassan.
The leaders blamed the Cord leader of harbouring a political grudge against Mr Hassan for presiding over an election where the opposition leader “lost fairly ” to his main challenger Uhuru Kenyatta.
Speaking to journalists at the county assembly Tuesday, the MCAs who were drawn from different political parties urged the Cord leader to desist from ‘defaming’ the IEBC boss whom they hailed for delivering the most peaceful, transparent and credible poll in the country’s history.
Led by the Minority Leader who is also the Nanigi Ward representative Mr Nasir Mohamed, the leaders threatened to mobilise people from the county to reject the Cord leader in the next election if he does not desist from his onslaught on the chairman, who hails from the county.
“The people of Garissa County voted for the Cord leader in the last general elections but his actions of fighting to have Issack Hassan sacked and prosecuted for non-existent crimes will cost him support in the county and the entire region,” said the minority leader.
He said it was very unfortunate that Mr Odinga has continuously defamed one of their own who enjoys high respect in the country and abroad.
Mr Mohamed demanded that the opposition leader respects the IEBC chairman or forget about the north-eastern votes in the next general election.
“The Cord leader’s continuous attacks on the IEBC Chairman are uncalled for, there are independent institutions such as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission who have conducted their own investigations and found no wrong-doing on the part of the IEBC chairman. Raila should stop usurping the role of independent commissions and spoiling other peoples’ reputation for political reasons,” he said.
The MCAs said while the Cord coalition had massive support in the region, they would reconsider their support for the opposition leader if he keeps on calling for the sacking of the IEBC chairman.
Mr Odinga has been demanding for the sacking of the IEBC Chairman, noting that Mr Hassan has adversely been mentioned in a UK court as having received bribes when he was the boss of the defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC).
Bura Ward representative Osman Abdi from whose ward Mr Hassan comes from said Mr Odinga‘s association of the IEBC chairman with the so-called ‘list of shame’ was a blatant attempt to discredit the electoral commission’s boss whom he believes robbed him (Raila) of a “win”.
Mr Abdi said that Mr Odinga, being an icon of democracy and a statesman, should strive to unite Kenyans of diverse backgrounds ahead of the next polls instead of dwelling on the past and antagonising the IEBC boss.
“As members of Garissa County Assembly we are advising him to forge ahead in uniting Kenyans ahead of President Obama’s visit. He should not question the integrity of EACC for clearing IEBC from any wrong-doings in corruption-related issues,” he added.