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September 19, 2017

Uhuru using public resources in Jubilee campaigns - KNCHR

President Uhuru Kenyatta acknowledge greetings from residents of Makutano Town, West Pokot County yesterday.Photo PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta acknowledge greetings from residents of Makutano Town, West Pokot County yesterday.Photo PSCU

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of using public resources in his Jubilee campaigns.

At the same time, the Law Society of Kenya has protested the conduct of two public officials who participated in Uhuru's dinner on Friday last week and were introduced as 'members of a technical committee' of a pro-Uhuru lobby group.

The rights body said Uhuru is violating the law by dishing out goodies to certain areas, weeks to the general election. It says this amounts to voter bribery.

Voter inducement is an election malpractice under Section 10 of the Elections Offences Act 2016.

Last week, President Uhuru gave Sh358 million for compensation to Integrated Internally Displaced Persons in Kisii county.

KNCHR chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori said the government is out to amend sections of the Elections Offences Acts, which bars the government from advertisement its achievements during an election period.

In the recent months, there has been increased paid up adverts of the Jubilee administration's achievements in both print and electronic media.

“Those actions of the government amounts to abuse of office and thus Kenyans must call for transparency and accountability of the public officers who unlawfully disregard legal provisions aimed at safeguarding free and fair elections,” Mbogori said in a statement to newsrooms.

Mbogori also accused Governors Evans Kidero (Nairobi), Kenneth Lusaka (Bungoma) and Simon Kachapin (West Pokot) of abusing their powers to limit their opponents' use of public grounds for campaigns.

On Monday, LSK president Isaac Okero wrote to head of Public Service Margaret Kobia over a violation of the law by Energy PS Joseph Njoroge and Kenya Revenue Authority commissioner general John Njiraini.

“As one would expect, this report is causing great public consternation as it describes actions that amount to misconduct on the part of the two officials by their breach of constitutional values and principles of public service and their violation of statutory requirements for political neutrality imposed on state and public officers of their rank and position,” he said in the letter.

Okero demanded that the two be investigated over their conduct and appropriate action taken should they be found guilty.

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