Government denies plotting to sabotage power supply on Election Day » Capital News
NAIROBI, Kenya, August 5 – The government on Friday denied plans to handle an election day power outage following concerns over a blackout affecting most of the country during the presidential debate on July 26.
“The government does not intend to interfere with public facilities and services that support the conduct of the general elections. It will not shut down the internet or disrupt the power supply,” Home Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi told reporters in response to reports of a state-sanctioned voter suppression campaign.
During the debate boycotted by Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga, who enjoys state support, a major outage was reported in Western, Nyanza, Rift Valley and Nairobi North for almost the entire duration. Vice President William Ruto faced two moderators in a solo debate.
Kenya Power, the country’s utility company, linked the outage to “system disruption” and confirmed a return to normal as soon as the televised debate ended.
Matiangi said the government is run through established and well-known structures and channels of accountability and as such “is not a secret society cloaked in conspiracies and dark agendas”.
He said DP Ruto had not presented any evidence to support his claims.
“These unsubstantiated allegations are consistent with the frequent, unfounded and unconscionable attacks on government and public officials by His Excellency the Vice President,” he said.
He added that DP Ruto is a member of the National Security Council (NSC) which is vested with overall policy and decision-making powers in matters of national security, saying he must know and understand how government decisions are made and carried out. .
“He thus benefits from access to a privileged and influential platform to express himself and put forward his concerns. There is no record of him voicing the serious allegations made yesterday at the NSC or any other official security platform,” Matiangi said.
Matiangi called DP Ruto’s decision to blame government officials for an alleged plot to rig the polls unfortunate, saying it puts them at risk.
“As the country’s top leader, His Excellency the Vice President’s statements have the ability to influence his supporters and their relationships with government officials.”
“Personalized attacks that disparage public officials who lack the opportunity to defend their honor against their elders potentially damage reputation and expose victims and their families to harm,” he said.
The Interior SC stressed that those running for high political office in the country are required to address others, including their subordinates, with what he described as appropriate decorum.
He went on to say that there is no record of Kenyan presidential candidate Kwanza voicing his demands in the National Security Council where DP Ruto is a member or any other official security platform.
Matiangi added that the government is not engaged in any conspiracy against any individual or candidate, including DP Ruto, saying every action it takes is well guided.
“Repeatedly dragging the names of innocent officials who are not vying for elective office in political duels is regrettable. As in any other contest, those aspiring to high political office have an obligation to address others, including their subordinates, with appropriate decorum,” he added.
On Tuesday, Matiangi, who has openly backed Ruto’s main opponent, Azimio’s Raila Odinga, said his meetings with grassroots administration officials were purely because “they are colleagues”.
Matiangi spoke amid criticism from politicians mostly allied with Ruto’s camp who accused him of using chiefs to benefit Azimio’s presidential candidate.
CS has vowed to continue calling chiefs and working with them until he leaves office.
“We meet chefs all the time, that’s the job we do, that’s who we’re supposed to work with,” he said.