Former National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende has refuted social media reports claiming that his rural home in Luanda, Vihiga County is being used by persons hired by the ruling Party, Jubilee, to stuff into boxes already-marked ballot papers.
The social media reports alleged that the ballot papers were being marked by Jubilee-affiliated people, who had bought national identity cards from Vihiga residents for Ksh5, 000 each.
“Rigging at its worst,” wrote an online user, who made an accusation against Marende on Sunday, October 22.
Addressing journalists in Kakamega County on Sunday, October 22, Marende said he, just like the rest of Kenyans, learnt through the media that the first batch of ballot papers for Thursday’s fresh Presidential election arrived in the country from Dubai via the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Saturday night.
“I have no connections with the presidential election slated for October 26 (sic). If you look at my home, is there any part of it that I can use to assemble people to mark ballot papers? (Sic) Where are those ballot boxes for instance?” posed Marende.
“The only time I became aware that there were ballot papers in the country is when I watched Saturday evening news on television; and the news item said that ballot papers had arrived in the country from Dubai. I don’t see any link between me and the ballot papers, given they arrived in the country on Saturday,” said Marende.
The ex-National Assembly Speaker claims the people linking him to ballot-stuffing are doing so to tarnish his reputation and turn his area constituents against him.
“My home in Vihiga is not near Nairobi. These are just rumours which are aimed at painting me in bad light. The position I have taken is that this country must move on, and for this country to move on there must be an election. Elections have to take place after every five years as is stipulated in the Constitution. For the stability of this nation, we need an election to take place,” said Marende.
“I do not see anyone in this country ascending to the presidency without subjecting self to an election. There are no options, unless we want this country to slip into anarchy; and when that happens, we will all be losers.”