Raila Amollo Odinga

Kenya’s leading opposition figure Raila Amollo Odinga has accused his country’s spy agency, the National Intelligence Services (NIS) of registering Ugandans to participate in elections in his country, scheduled for August.

In a statement issued Januray 24, Mr Odinga said the NIS is bringing Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits into Uganda and also assisting Ugandan citizens to acquire Kenyan identification documents then helping them cross into Kenya and register as voters.

By press time efforts to get comment from Uganda’s foreign ministry were futile.

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We have credible information that the National Intelligence Service (NIS) is once again heavily involved in the on-going voter registration with the aim of influencing results in August in the same way it did in 2007 and 2013.

NIS interference in the current voter registration involves taking BVR kits across our borders into Uganda and Ethiopia and assisting citizens of the two countries to register in a Kenyan election process. The agency is also assisting citizens of these neighbouring countries to acquire Kenyan identification documents then helping them cross into Kenya and register as voters.

The NIS is also interfering with the voter registration process by having youths whose data were collected through the dubious National Youth Service exercise over the last few years and registering them as voters, without their knowledge. This NIS-driven process is responsible for the multiple registrations, shared identity cards and many cases of people who are captured as registered when indeed they had never done so.

In the 2013 elections, NIS had its officers absorbed into the ranks of the IEBC as polling clerks and other strategic positions with the sole aim of helping Jubilee attain a dubious victory. In 2007, NIS was deeply involved in ballot stuffing among other irregularities to help the PNU win.

NIS must let the IEBC do its work as an independent institution. The intelligence agency must equally operate as a politically non-partisan and independent institution whose duty it is to safeguard the integrity of the electoral process and not interfere with it.

It is a disgrace and a betrayal of public trust when an institution that is supposed to safeguard the interests of the nation take the lead in undermining those very interests. Interfering with the process through which our country determines its leadership is one of the most serious crimes a public institution and more so an intelligence agency can be involved in.

We wish to make it clear to the Director-General of the NIS Major-General Philip Wachira Kameru and the entire leadership of the agency that this country will never accept another NIS-led electoral theft. NIS will break down this nation and send it to the dogs, if it continues on this path of seeking to influence election results by way of fraud.

We challenge the NIS to come clean on this matter and assure the country that it is abandoning its disgraceful involvement in the voter registration. It must do this with the full awareness that there will be no country if it does not abandon course it is currently pursuing. Kenyans are not prepared to have the NIS choose for them their next leader again.

JANUARY 24, 2017