How Nasa plans to welcome Raila Odinga from US, UK trips

Monday November 13 2017

Raila Odinga

Nasa leader Raila Odinga. He is back in the country. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP.

By PATRICK LANG'AT
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The Opposition has now rescheduled the arrival of its leader Raila Odinga to Friday to allow for a  ‘dress-rehearsal’ rally on Thursday.

Mr Odinga has been in the US since Tuesday last week for meetings with top bureaucrats and Congress officials, as well as Kenyans living there, pushing for support for his electoral reforms agenda.

LOOTING

He gave lectures at the Wilson Centre and the Centre for Security and International Studies, with former US ambassadors to Kenya William Bellamy and Johnnie Carson in attendance

“Kenya’s is not just an electoral crisis triggered by a third straight stolen election. Let me be blunt: Kenya is hurtling towards an outright dictatorship.

"The Jubilee government has looted every institution that they could to achieve their goal of controlling the State, or their self-declared goal of running up to 2032,” Mr Odinga and asked the US to adopt a more robust and direct engagement with Nairobi.

JET BACK

He will today fly to London, the United Kingdom, for similar engagements.

He was scheduled to jet back on Thursday, with the National Super Alliance (Nasa) Sunday threatening to swear him in if President Uhuru Kenyatta is sworn in.

“Nasa plans a grand and befitting welcome to this (Raila) indomitable and indefatigable leader,” Nasa coordination committee members— Siaya Senator James Orengo, and former senators Boni Khalwale (Kakamega) and Johnston Muthama (Machakos)— said in a joint statement.

On Thursday, the senators said Nasa would hold a rally at Kamukunji Grounds in Nairobi to prepare for Mr Odinga’s arrival.

“The rally will be a dress rehearsal for the Friday grand welcome. We welcome all Kenyans to this grand Thursday rally and the arrival party on Friday,” the Nasa leaders said.

'JUSTICE'

The planned welcome on Friday, sources said, will be akin to the “Baba, while you were away” rally at the Uhuru Park in May 2014 that was organised after Mr Odinga’s three-month trip to the US.

“Baba, while you were away, they chased away investors and tourists,” Mr Odinga enthusiast Japheth Moroko told the former prime minister, referring to Mr Odinga as Baba (father), a name that has now been adopted by the opposition camp.

“Baba, while you were away, they closed the lands offices. Baba, while you were away, they paid the Anglo-Leasing thieves,” he said.

It is a line that Mr Odinga supporters have since used to ‘report’ to him the things that happened while he is away, with the hope, just like a child would of a father, that things will have been different had he (the father) been there.

“All these are part of our continuing journey of ensuring electoral justice and putting an end to the evil culture of sham elections with pre-determined outcomes. Together, we shall triumph,” the Nasa leaders said of the planned welcome party, and Thursday rally.