Opposition has declared that its weekly controversial protests against the electoral commission will kick off on Monday, after the breakdown of dialogue.
The opposition said the protests will be peaceful but insists it will go on because the commission is biased. This is after Raila made a final warning call to Uhuru for his party’s team to be published or dialogue to hold.
On Tuesday, Opposition leader Raila Odinga held a four-man lunch-hour meeting with country leaders at State House Nairobi.
The ODM leader afterwards told his party’s supporters that they have agreed to create a team that will hold talks to end the impasse on the electoral agency. Raila said on Thursday:
“I can swear by the Bible that we have done what we agreed with our competitors and ready for negotiations outside Parliament.”
But State House dismissed the claim and insisted there was no such deal. Mr Aden ditched the team, shortly after the announcement was made, citing “personal reasons”.
CORD, based on the alleged agreement, named five people to the 10-member mediation team. The Opposition also gave the ruling administration deadline to publish the names of the members of its team that will talk and decide where the commission will go from here.
Opposition named senators James Orengo (Siaya), Johnstone Muthama (Machakos), and MPs Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren), Mishi Mboko (Mombasa) and Abdikadir Aden (Balambala) to the mediation team. It also said lawyer Paul Mwangi and Grace Katasi wiil be the secretaries.
His message to several media houses read:
“Hi, just wanted to inform you that I have asked to be left out of the CORD negotiation team for personal reason.”
Raila then accused Deputy President William Ruto of blocking the plans to hold talks outside the Parliament, insisting it will be within the confines of the rule of law.
“We had good but inconclusive discussions to the extent that we agreed to meet and discuss further before we reach a level where we can put up teams possibly to look at the issues within the Constitution and other administrative structures that portend bottlenecks and hindrances to having a peaceful, cohesive country that can go to elections without disputes and many other things that may not be part of elections.”
The committee Chairman Samuel Chepkonga yesterday denied being aware of the dialogue between the two rivalry parties, saying his team is set to commence hearing on the matter come Friday next week.
It is alleged that the committee will carry out joint hearings with the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee, and it will split into five teams that will go to each of the 47 counties. Mr Chepkonga said:
“I am not aware of the discussion at State House. The only thing i can attest to is that my committee and that of the Constitutional Implementation are working together and we will receive views from every Kenyan on how to reconstitute the IEBC in the event that the commissioners go home.”
CORD’s co-principals – Raila, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula – have been leading weekly protests that they said will only end when their demands are met. High Court had ordered opposition party and their supporters not to match to IEBC offices but they said the order amounted to “nothing.”
In May, Cord protesters in the capital, Nairobi, and in other cities, ended in violence as police tried to disperse them. Police used weapons like tear gas, water cannon and batons to split up opposition supporters who were protesting to have IEBC kicked out.
However, in some places, police fired live bullet which resulted in the death of at least three people. The protesters are agitating to get electoral commission dissolved, and a new one appointed.
As a result, Raila Odinga disowned his longtime friend Gen. Nkaissery, opining that he is ten times worse than Ole Lenku for using excessive power on the protesters.
On the contrary, President Uhuru Kenyatta during the official Madaraka day celebration condemned the demonstrations, which have turned bloody, urging cord leaders to follow the constitution in pushing for their demands.
Uhuru warned against selfish leaders who want to violate the constitution for their own gain. Deputy President William Ruto also asked the Opposition to respect the court and stop holding the protests.