Another clash is brewing between Cord leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta over IEBC dialogue, as Raila calls Jubilee to choose its IEBC Dialogue team, days after their friendly meeting at the State House.
This is because both seem to be maintaining their stance, if their statements at Madaraka Day celebration is anything to go by.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga who led other opposition leaders in celebrating 53rd Madaraka Day in a political rally at Uhuru Park, Nairobi took tough line position in speech, cutting off hopes that a deal to stop IEBC impasse has been reached.
According to him, Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners must go for the commission to be reformed. Furthering, he said his coalition will follow the constitution as required and on that note will pick an IEBC dialogue team consisting of five members of parliament (MPs) to head talks with Jubilee.
Noting that the repeated protest is Kenyans constitutional right, he said:
“If the dialogue is successful there will be no demonstrations on Monday.”
Raila added that he told Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery that they would not be intimidated no matter the amount of teargas deployed against them.
Raila admitted that indeed he and retired President Mwai Kibaki appointed the current IEBC commissioners but defended his present stance, claiming the commissioners are involved in big corrupt acts. Hear him:
“When we appointed the IEBC chair we did not know he will be linked with the chicken gate scandal.”
Bungoma senator Moses Wetangula seconded Raila’s speech assuring that IEBC will go even though the coalition is seeking dialogue.
Others in attendance were Nairobi deputy governor Jonathat Mueke, senators Bony Khalwale, Johnstone Muthama, James Orengo and Elizabeth Ongoro. Kanu secretary general Nick Salat also addressed the gathering reiterating Cord’s position that IEBC must be disbanded.
Kisumu leaders including Governor Jack Ranguma also ditched the country’s Madaraka Day celebrations for the rally in Nairobi. Others who left the national celebration for ODM leader’s rally included deputy governor Ruth Odinga, Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o. Area MPs, MCAs, and other ODM officials were also absent.
Cord leaders from Nyanza had been urged to boycott the Kisumu celebrations. The call was attributed to last Monday’s killing of three residents during protests in Siaya and Kisumu counties.
Nyakach MP Aduma Owuor revealed that ODM leaders were expected not to attend the official celebrations in Cord counties in Nyanza.
On Tuesday, Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto made a shocking invite to the Opposition chiefs in what was believed to be a move to reach a deal to send home the IEBC bosses ahead of the 2017 polls.
Members of the public argued that they could not share the same podium with those they accuse of shedding blood. Speaking in Nakuru when they led the nation in marking the 53 Madaraka Day celebrations, Uhuru and Ruto insisted opposition can only obtain electoral reforms through the parliament.
The President railed at Raila for allegedly overlooking the very Constitution that he rallied the country to support in 2010.
On the other hand, Raila and Cord co-principal Moses Wetangu’la said they will soon reveal the names of the five MPs to sit with the Jubilee team to kick start talks on electoral reforms that involve sending home the Issack Hassan led team.
Another source said a group of 47 Members of Parliament from the Jubilee coalition and the Opposition have resolved to spearhead electoral reforms.
MPs’ caucus led by Ugenya MP David Ochieng (CORD) and Mukurweini MP Kabando wa Kabando (Jubilee) is allegedly going to hold talks to resolve the agitation. But this is yet to be announced by the President.