Human rights activist Boniface Mwangi has blamed President Uhuru Kenyatta by claiming he played a key role in setting Azirio La Umoja flag bearer, Raila Odinga, to failure.
Mwangi first alleged in a statement dated Tuesday, Aug. 13, that Raila and his running mate, Martha Karua, had been given false and manipulated feedback about the progress of the Aug. 9 general election from a prominent figure in the Azimio secretariat led by Uhuru.
After Election Day, August 9, the activist claimed that Karua received a phone call while the vote count was still in progress and was convinced Raila had won the polls in his fifth bid for presidency.
“All week, even as Kenya Kwanza shared their numbers, Raila and Martha were getting numbers from Azimio’s secretariat assuring them they’d won. President of Kenya My very rambunctious posts were based on these assurances,” wrote Mwangi.
Photo of Boniface Mwangi speaking on an episode of Cleaning The Airwaves, taken on July 4, 2021.
The call motivated Karua to such an extent that she declared the election in their favor even before TBEN Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) counted the presidential results.
Karua met Azimio leaders at the Kenyatta International Conference Center (KICC) on Aug. 13, confident that they had carried on for the day. Mwangi also claimed that the team had been given misleading information that caused him and other Azimio allies and bloggers to post misleading information on their social media pages.
“When Martha went to KICC to meet with Azimio leaders and said we had won, she based her statement on the numbers and grades she had been given from the Azimio secretariat. After the Bomas fiasco came the lawsuit. the same respected TBEN on our team – proof of how we had won.
“Again, I was vocal about how we had won. I believed the said evidence. Martha believed it too. Everything I posted was based on the information that served us. Looking back, it is now clear that we were being fed misleading information , until the very last moment. The question arises: was this a long scam?” Mwangi wondered.
Raila falls back, relies on Uhuru
According to Mwangi, Raila’s camp dropped their guard because Uhuru’s approval seemingly guaranteed them a first-round victory in the presidential election.
Uhuru played a key role in appointing the secretariat that failed to fulfill its mandate.
He argued that because of Uhuru’s advice and open campaigns for Raila’s candidacy, Azimio was seen as a state project and therefore struggled to shake off the project’s label.
He added that the president’s presence at the helm of Azimio’s leadership also sabotaged Raila’s presidential bid, as it was seen as a continuation of Uhuru’s legacy, which has been marked by inflation and corruption.
“Because of Uhuru’s incessant and unwise utterances, Raila and Martha struggled to shake off the project label. Rather than being state projects, Raila and Martha’s reformist credentials didn’t have to be emphasized. Sadly, Uhuru was the chairman of Azimio, a position which I stated publicly that he should resign.
Raila Odinga and his running mate, Martha Karua, arrive in Taita Taveta on Tuesday, July 12, 2022
“His presence in Azimio led TBEN to 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 said.
According to the renowned activists, Azimio relied on Uhuru to lead the secretariat’s preparations, but in the end they failed to devise a strategy and mobilize their bases to come out and vote.
“We have not protected our agents from the temptation of easy bribes from our opponents. We have allowed them to be compromised in the polling stations. We also did not protect our votes because we had too much faith that the IEBC would provide a credible, free and fair election,” his statement read in part.
Uhuru also gave the impression that he was the one who led Karua as Raila’s running mate, which proved to be detrimental to the Azimio faction.
Raila’s next plan
Resigned to fate, Mwangi advised Azimio to unite and hold the new government accountable by playing its active opposition role.
He urged the Registrar of Political Parties to curb political impunity and crack down on politicians elected under Azimio who defected to Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza.
“Ideally, all those elected under the Azimio Coalition in violation of the Azimio Pact should be subject to a by-election. They should resign and flee on a Kenya Kwanza ticket. This last minute decampment is deceiving and a betrayal to the people who chose them.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM Leader Raila Odinga during their NDC at KICC on Saturday, February 26, 2022
“However, there is still some hope. The Azimio coalition has a majority in the legislature. The opposition leaders will have to work together and focus on the mandate that the voters have given them and be very disciplined to meet the expectations of the voters Azimio has control in 23 provinces. We want to see a difference in governance in their provinces,” he advised.
He also urged Raila to establish the Raila Odinga Leadership Center to educate and prepare the next generation of leaders who can transform Kenya.
Raila, he said, continues to be an inspiration to Kenya and can inspire a new generation of active citizens to hold all duty bearers to account and demand transparency and integrity.
“6.9 million TBEN who voted for Raila are in pain and in need of guidance. About 8 million TBEN, mostly young people, did not vote in this election. That is more than those who voted for Raila or Ruto.
“If galvanized, it could be the ‘Third Force’. I look forward to being part of this movement, the one that will hold Ruto’s government accountable for every campaign promise he made,” Mwangi said.