An additional political face-off is ominously close as opposition leaders plot to stage parallel Madaraka Day celebrations next Wednesday despite temporarily suspending anti-IEBC protests.
The country is set to host the official Madaraka celebrations in Nakuru and the President will preside over the remarkable event while the opposition says it will stage a similar celebrations that will hold inUhuru Park in Nairobi, the normal government venue for the ceremony on 1 June.
It is alleged that Cord has already booked the historic Uhuru Park Grounds while the Jubilee leadership has chosen Afraha Stadium in Nakuru as its venue, with President Uhuru Kenyatta as the host.
Also, Cord CEO Norman Magaya allegedly wrote to Nairobi Police Boss Japheth Koome on Monday, advising him that the Madaraka rally is supposed to “celebrate civil liberties and freedoms and reaffirm the quest for constitutionalism”. The police have not yet responded. Sounds like another political trouble on the horizon, right?
Anyway, Madaraka Day celebration keeps alive the memory of the time Kenya achieved internal self-rule on 1 June, 1963 which set the scene for full independence from the United Kingdom on 12 December 1963.
And this year’s celebration will be the first time since Independence that the President has celebrated Madaraka Day outside Nairobi.
Since Nairobi is the seat of power as stipulated in the Constitution, Jubilee supporters are worried that allowing Cord leader Raila Odinga to ‘address the nation’ in Nairobi might imply that he is creating an alternative government in waiting.
A URP county coordinator has called on Cord leaders to shelve the parallel Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1st. Nelson Koech said the opposition’s plan is an abuse and disregard to Jubilee government.
He urged the government to deploy-anti-riot squad during the unofficial event as it would invite chaos similar to the anti-IEBC demonstrations.
He added that touts may seize the chance to rob business community and cause trouble if Cord’s Uhuru Park rally is allowed to take place.
The Belgut politician added, referring to the government:
“Deploy anti-riot police at Uhuru Park starting dawn, before the opposition starts preparations for the celebration. They (opposition) should either join President Uhuru Kenyatta or remain indoors”
Over and above that is another dramatic plan to ruin the forthcoming celebration by locals in Siaya county. The locals swore to disrupt Madaraka Day celebrations in protest for the killing of three people during anti-IEBC demonstrations on Monday.
The move, which serves as a revenge to the death of two youths shot by police dispersing IEBC demonstrations in the county on Monday, can only be averted if dialogue roots out the continuation of the protest.
They urge the government to sort out the IEBC issue before coming to the county to host the exceptional event.