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DCI takes IEBC to task over arrested Venezuela nationals

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations has issued a statement to explain the circumstances that led to arrest of the three Venezuela nationals at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

In his statement the DCI boss has taken issue with the statement issued by the Chairman of the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission Wafula Chebukati on 22nd July 2022. “The statement issued by the IEBC Chairman is not only inaccurate, but also misleading to the public and should be treated with the contempt it deserves” says Kinoti.

Kinoti said his officers confiscated a personal luggage containing 17 rolls of stickers targeted to serve at least 10,000 polling stations in 10 counties namely Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Meru, Machakos, Murang’a, Bomet, Nyeri, Tharaka Nithi, Nyandarua and Kericho.

In a press release issued on July 23, 2022, Kinoti said the Venezuelan nationals; Jose Gregorio Camargo Castellanos, Joel Gustavo Rodriguez Garcia and Salvador Javier Sosa Suarez were arrested after their bag which contained election materials was flagged at the airport.

Upon investigations, the DCI established that their contracts did not explicitly state they were employees of IEBC or the IT firm contracted to deliver poll materials, as alleged by Chebukati.

This contradicted Chebukati’s statement that the three foreign nationals had contracts with IEBC. “The commission is still troubled by the acts of the police and demands cessation of harassment of personnel legitimately contracted service providers and calls for the immediate release of all confiscated items,” said the polls body Chairman.

Jose Gregorio Camargo

In his press statement Kinoti said that the Venezuelan national confessed he had been invited into the country to bring in the election materials by one Abdulahi Abdi Mohamed and not the IEBC as alleged by the IEBC. “Further investigation conducted on Jose Gregorio also showed that he had arrived in the country on a business visa at the invitation of one Abdulahi Abdi Mohamed. Upon probing the suspect, it emerged that Mr Carmago did not bear any letter or documentation indicating that he had been invited by IEBC and as such the materials in his possession belonged to Abdulahi Abdi Mohamed,” Kinoti said.

The public response by the IEBC coupled with the emotional attack on the DCI by Deputy President William Ruto and politicians allied to the Kenya Alliance. On the other hand the Azimio One Kenya Alliance led by Raila Odinga has accused Ruto of plotting to rig the August polls.

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