, NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 29 – A group of professionals in Kenya have downplayed claims by the Opposition that President Uhuru Kenyatta would be illegitimately elected if declared the winner of the repeat poll by the electoral body.
Chairman of the group dubbed the Council of Professionals of Kenya Ababu Namwamba has accused the opposition of pushing the voter turnout narrative to validate their ill motive agenda that Kenyatta would be an illegitimate President if declared the winner.
Addressing a media briefing on Sunday, Namwamba told journalists that the 48percent voter turnout projected by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is noteworthy especially after a majority of Odinga supporters failed to cast their ballot.
“We note that voter turnout across the world is on the decline except in countries where compulsory. Voter turnout is lowest in the re-elections of a strong and impactful president because the voter is comfortable.
“Even in by-elections across the globe there is always a decline in the number of voters who go out to exercise their democratic right but for our case the number projected by the electoral body is very significant,” said Namwamba.
The former Budalangi lawmaker who unsuccessfully vied in the August 8 polls said that despite opposition calls for boycott in the just concluded poll, Kenyatta was overwhelmingly voted for just like the August 8 election and hence that ruled out any attempt to delegitimize the process.
“Over 95 percent of Kenyans that voted for Uhuru Kenyatta on August 8 also turned out to vote for him on October 26 and that tells you that the President maintained his support base across the country.
“Over 40percent of Kenyan registered voters braved the rains and a tense environment to cast their vote,” said Namwamba.
Namwamba who further accused the opposition said that it was regrettable that the right to vote for some voters especially in Odinga strongholds was a direct violation of their right.
“This was a criminal strategy to defeat democracy and the right to vote in Odinga’s home turf. The atrocious assault on the right to vote sought to reduce voter turnout and push the country into a constitutional crisis and chaos,” he said.
Former Garsen Member of Parliament Danson Mungatana who is also a member of the council said that they will be pushing for the immediate codification of the right to vote in law.
“We believe making voting compulsory will defeat political manipulations, violence and intimidations and protect the right to vote.
“Mandatory voting will enhance our democracy and make it cheaper and affordable. We will work with the relevant institutions and lobbies to achieve this,” said Mungatana.
The group also called for peace across the country and urged Kenyans to refuse to be drawn into violent conflict that would plunge the country into chaos.