Raila Odinga meets with Wafula Chebukati
Nasa leader Raila Odinga Thursday morning held a 40-minute meeting with electoral agency chairman Wafula Chebukati, a day after the agency chief listed conditions for his continued stay at the helm of the commission.
Mr Odinga, who was accompanied by his chef agent Musalia Mudavadi, said he was willing to consider participating in a fresh election if his demands were met.
“If proper consultations are done and proper reforms are carried out and those fears are addressed we will consider,” Mr Odinga told journalists after emerging from the meeting he described as “good” at Anniversary Towers.
Mr Odinga said he had been invited to the meeting by Mr Chebukati, different from one that had been called for presidential candidates at Serena Hotel at 2.30pm.
The meeting was this morning cancelled, with the commission saying it will set another date after agreement with the candidates.
“We came here because we have said that in the interest of peace, we will take to anybody,” he said, saying a meeting with the chairman and President Uhuru Kenyatta will happen on Monday, before the agency head makes a decision.
Mr Odinga told journalists he attended the meeting because he was interested in a credible election, and because his name had been retained at the ballot, even after his withdrawal.
The Nasa leader said the resignation of IEBC commissioner Roselyn Akombe and the statement by the chairman that he could not guarantee a credible election if certain changes were not implemented vindicated their position.
“That (the Dr Akombe resignation and Mr Chebukati’s statements) basically confirmed our fears, and our reasons for pulling out of this race. It is now clear to anybody that the environment does not exist for a free and fair election,” said Mr Odinga.
He said, “there are things happening over which the chairman has no control over. So we said instead of wasting money and going to a charade, we will rather pull out,” saying the many things at the commission do not inspire confidence.
Mr Odinga rubbished comments by President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto that he said suggested he was begging for a meeting.
“You say what the Jubilee people said yesterday. Under those circumstances, is it still proper to meet with Kenyatta? It is made to look as if I am begging . . . ,” Mr Odinga said.
Even if he were to talk with President Kenyatta, he said, the current environment did not allow it.
He said, “I do not know how many times I need to tell them that I do not want nusu mkate (coalition government). I do not want to appear as if I am going to beg. I do not need anything from the so called William Ruto.”
Mr Mudavadi said the ball was in the IEBC’s court.