We will probe conduct of 2022 polls, Ruto vows

Friday, January 6th, 2023 06:10 | By
by Muriel Adhiambo and Adaalla Allan @PeopleDailyKe The portal of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was the top trending “general search” in Kenya this year, according to Google’s ‘Year in Search 2022’ report released yester-day. The report revealed that anxious Kenyans searched the portal to keep track of the results of the pres-idential election as they trickled in from polling stations nationwide. Other top searches in the category include ‘World Cup Fixtures’, ‘KNEC Portal,’ ‘Russia-Ukraine con-flict’ and ‘KUCCPS Portal’, where Kenyans sought to find out how to secure placement at universities and colleges and how to download forms. Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua also gripped the attention of Kenyans online, topping the list of most searched personalities during and after the August 9 elections. Interest in Gachagua, dubbed ‘Riggy G’ by popular Twitter user Ivy Chelimo, surged after his an-nouncement as President William Ruto’s running mate and during the August 9 elections. Users sought to know more about his family and biography. Trending personalities Others in the list of Trending Local Personalities include Azimio La Umoja Deputy Presidential candidate Martha Karua, Root’s Party presidential flagbearer George Wajackoyah, Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja, Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, and former vice-chairperson of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Juliana Cherera. The review showed that the polls, movies, education, health, sports, local and global politics, dominat-ed the searches in Kenya. “Google’s 2022 Year in Search lists the moments, people, topics, events and places that captured Ken-yans’ attention during the year. Especially off the back of an election, we saw people come to Google Search to find answers to their biggest questions,” said Google’s Kenya communications and public affairs manager Sharon Machira. In the how-to category, Kenyans wanting to beat a deadline by the Communications Authority on Sim-card registration, searched: “how to update Safaricom line” and “how to register Airtel line”. Other popular how-to searches included “how to check KCSE results”, “how to check KCPE results”, “how to check polling station online”, and “how to buy KPLC tokens”. Premier League footballers dominated the list of Trending Global Personalities, with Arsenal forward Gabriel Jesus, Manchester United defensive midfielder Casemiro, and centre-back Lisandro Martinez emerging top in that category. Others included Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose hard-line stance on the war in Ukraine has kept him in the news, and American actor Will Smith, who famously slapped comedian Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony on March 27, 2022. Kenyans also sought information on the death of local and global personalities such as former presi-dent Mwai Kibaki, lawyer Paul Gicheru, Nigerian singer Osinachi Nwachukwu, Capital FM DJ Lithium, Queen Elizabeth, and US rapper Takeoff. The African Cup of Nations led the searches in Sports, with the on-going FIFA World Cup in Qatar emerging second. Local television dramas Zora and Sultana captured the imagination of Kenyan viewers, while Netflix show Tinder Swindler, Dahmer, Inventing Anna, and Stranger Things featured in the most searched international television programmes. The top search query in the Tech category was “how to update GB WhatsApp”, a variant of Meta’s WhatsApp messaging platform that allows users to bypass limitations of the original app. Kenyans also searched “how to delete a page in Word; how to convert Word document to pdf; how to clear cache; how to pin location on WhatsApp”; and “how to delete Facebook account”, among other queries. In Health category, the top searches were “how to maintain facial health by controlling the type of food consumed”, “how to register for Covid vaccine”, “how to get pregnant fast”, “how to register NHIF online”, “how to treat UTI at home”, and “how to manage stress”. Monkeypox, Swine Flu, Alopecia, Fournier Gangrene and Ramsay Hunt Syndrome were the most searched diseases. Patriotic song Nigerian Alté musician Ayra Starr’s hit “Rush” was top in searches for song lyrics, closely trailed by Mwalimu Thomas Wasonga’s Tushangilie Kenya, a patriotic song that saw an increase in popularity dur-ing and after the August 9 elections. Kenyan music took a backseat, as Afrobeats formed the bulk of trending lyric searches — including Sugarcane Remix, Calm Down, Finesse, Cough by Kizz Daniel, For My Hand and Love Nwantiti. Following the lifting of the 2012 ban on cultivation and importation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Kenyans searched “what is GMO”, which was sixth in the trending “What Is” category. Kenyans also searched for “what is Form 34A”; “what is Freemason”; “what is subsidy”; “what is opaque”; “what is happening in Ukraine”; and “what is State capture”. Freemasonry recently re-emerged in the public imagination after lawyer and Gor Mahia chairman Am-brose Rachier revealed he is a member of the mysterious fraternity. Google Trends is a publicly available tool that displays relative search volumes across geographies, time periods and the queries users want to know about. Many people in the predominantly Christian country took exception to the revelation, associating the secret order with satanic practices. Google Trends is a publicly available tool that displays relative search volumes across geographies, time periods and the queries users want to know about. The two main categories of searches are ‘Trending’, which shows queries with the highest amount of traffic over a specific period, and ‘Most Searched’, which displays the most popular search terms for a given period.
William Ruto and Rigathi Gachagua display presidential winner certificate from IEBC. PHOTO/Courtesy.

President William Ruto has declared that he will order investigations into the events of the last presidential election — however long it will take.

The President said he had gone slow on his pledge to institute investigations into what he described as “State capture” under the Jubilee administration because he did not want disruptions on his efforts to revive the economy.

In a televised interview with various media houses on Wednesday night, Ruto described the events of August 15, 2022 at the Bomas of Kenya during the announcement of presidential election results as “horrible.”

He was referring to the debacle at the national tallying centre during which Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati claims that he had been approached by powerful government officials who put pressure on him not to announce Ruto as winner of the presidential race.


Ruto and his then running mate, Rigathi Gachagua, were facing off with Azimio-One Kenya flagbearer Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua. The Ruto ticket garnered 7.1 million votes against the Raila’s 6.9 million.

According to the President, even the military had been roped into the scheme to sabotage the will of the people as a result of “State capture”.

“The day the story of August 15 will be told in Kenya, you will know why I am delaying,” Ruto said. “I have to balance. Do I sort out the economy? We are almost in the red. Or do I swing this big thing that will drain our energy? I want to promise you that the story will be told one day.”

While on the campaign trail last July, Ruto allies Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu MP) and the then Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata (now governor) said that should Kenya Kwanza Alliance form a government, it would will form a commission of inquiry on “State capture”.

At the time, Kang’ata noted that key sectors of the economy were in the hands of a few powerful families, a trend that the commission would be keen to reverse.

And yesterday, Ruto said: “This State capture (probe) will be done one day. We will establish a commission one day. If you were to sit where I am sitting right now, you will know why I have to go slow on certain things to allow the country to get out of the mess we are in without overloading it with so many other issues.”

Gender rule

On the campaign trail, Kang’ata had alleged that a few families dominated key sectors of the economy, including energy.

“The extent of capture needs a study, hence the proposal. State capture retards development. It establishes negative linkages between politics and economy. This has nothing to do with Uhuru. It has everything to do with Kenyans’ wellbeing,” Kang’ata said.

In the TV interview, Ruto also addressed other challenges facing his administration, including a court ruling that Parliament should be disbanded for failing the one-third-gender rule.

He said he had already proposed the issue of the one-third-gender rule to be resolved through nomination of women legislators, acknowledging that he had made a commitment to women that his administration would be more inclusive. He also acknowledged that he failed in meeting the gender rule in his nomination of Cabinet and Principal Secretaries but defended himself, arguing that he had to balance many factors, such as regional representation and other considerations.

“I could have done better,” he said.

Ruto also defended his push for legislators to set up the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition saying this will strengthen the country’s democracy and ensure checks on his government.

This had unflattering words about the March 9, 2018 “Handshake” between his predecessor, the then President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila, which he claimed was an illegality that his government would not contemplate.

“Let us create a forum for an alternative government to also function to keep government in check,” he said.

“It has been my stand that we need an office of the opposition leader as an institution. I have no business fixing a job for Raila Odinga. He is not my interest.”

Raila close ally, former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, has already expressed interest in occupying the office, with his allies arguing that this would position him to run against Ruto in 2027.

And on Wednesday, Ruto said: “I am an open book that is why I want a vibrant opposition. How did we get here? We got here because of the Handshake nonsense. We got here because, you get the opposition which is supposed to hold government to account, into some illegal cohabitation in the name of unity.

“Who says by having an opposition we are not united. Kenyans voted in this election, there are as many people in Azimio as there are in Kenya Kwanza?”

DPP decisions

Ruto also pledged to steer clear of interfering with the Judiciary, saying he was yet to call the Chief Justice to influence the outcome of a case. He was responding to questions over whether the dropping of charges against his allies, including Gachagua, was the result of political interference.

“The Office of the President will not be used in the criminal justice system against my opponents or for any political purpose. I can sign off as William Ruto; it will not happen,” he said.

On the cases of some of his Cabinet Secretaries being dropped by the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, President Ruto claimed the previous administration used the criminal justice system for political gain. He distanced himself from claims that he had a hand in dropping of the charges.

In the wide-ranging interview, he described himself as a firm believer in building political parties as institutions of governance and democracy, adding that a government is as good as its political parties. He said the only way to detribalise the country was by making political parties strong, credible and issue-based.

“You must give credit to my former party, ODM,” he said. “They have existed long enough. Unfortunately for me, the Jubilee Party was destroyed by characters. I will make sure that there will be adequate resources always for political parties,” he said even as he acknowledged that parties were yet to receive funding from the government because of a pending court case.

More on News