President William Ruto sensationally claimed there was a direct attempt to kill outgoing Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati during the August 2022 elections.
He spoke during a meeting with constitutional commissions and independent institutions at State House, Nairobi on Tuesday.
Ruto said he is aware that a few actors were interested in compromising the elections and threatened Chebukati to subvert the presidential results.
“We know that there was a direct attempt to abduct Wafula Chebukati and murder him so that the commission would be paralyzed, or a compliant commissioner takes over and subvert the people’s sovereignty,” he said.
“It was a hard, cold and lonely time, the threats were dire, the promised rewards lavish and the pressure relentless.”
He said he was privy to the fact that the entire commission of the electoral body was also put under threats and was even promised a lump sum amount of cash if they played to the tune of the “system”.
“We now know that Chebukati, commissioners Abdi Yakub Guliye and Boya Molu as well as the CEO, Hussein Marjan, and their staff were offered stupendous financial rewards to cooperate with the agents of impunity, but they bravely resisted,” said Ruto.
“We also know that they were subsequently threatened with dire consequences for them and their families if they did not do the ‘system’s bidding and overturn the choice of Kenyans. Again, we know that they stood strong and firmly said “NO!”.”
Ruto commended the Chebukati-led team for remaining devoted and firm to their critical roles and exercising what he termed as integrity and leadership.
“It is this uncompromising commitment to his constitutional responsibility that enabled Chebukati to lead IEBC in learning effectively from the 2013 and 2017 elections to deliver an election that met the highest standards and, in fact, that was unstealable,” Ruto said.
Ruto said he is initiating an engagement between the Executive and the commissions and independent institutions that will work in collaboration to benefit the nation.
“If every institution rises to its highest potential and operates effectively, there will be an opportunity for coordination, collaboration, cooperation and complementarity, as well as healthy competition for the benefit of Kenya and our people.”
The claims by the president are seen serious at a time when the country is trying to heal from political competition.