Cord gives poll team 90 days to release Okoa Kenya signatures

Saturday January 23 2016

Cord Leaders march along University Way in Nairobi on November 9, 2015 on their way to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) offices at Anniversary Towers to present copies containing signatures for the Okoa Kenya Drive. The leaders gave the IEBC 90 days to release Okoa Kenya signatures on order to pave the way for a referendum on the Constitution. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL |

Cord Leaders march along University Way in Nairobi on November 9, 2015 on their way to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) offices at Anniversary Towers to present copies containing signatures for the Okoa Kenya Drive. The leaders gave the IEBC 90 days to release Okoa Kenya signatures on order to pave the way for a referendum on the Constitution. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By STEPHEN MUTHINI
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Cord leaders on Friday vowed to remain united to win the next elections, and gave the electoral commission 90 days to release Okoa Kenya signatures to pave the way for a referendum on the Constitution.

The leaders held a rally at Mulu Mutisya Gardens in Machakos Town, where ODM leader Raila Odinga, in his characteristic use of parables, fell short of endorsing Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka for the presidency in 2017.

Mr Odinga thrilled the crowd with his popular football commentator’s parody, where he gave a pass to Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, who scored the goal.

“The strength of Cord depends on the strength of Wiper, Ford-Kenya and ODM. We are like a chain that cannot be broken,’’ said Mr Odinga, adding that the co-principals had gone to Machakos to witness the “political marriage” of the Wiper leader.

Mr Musyoka said he was ready to be President of Kenya. “I have accepted the nomination of Wiper. I will walk with my brothers Raila Odinga and Moses Wetang’ula,” he said at the leaders’ meeting at the Machakos Golf Club.

He accused Jubilee of failing to deliver on promises such as the building of Konza City.

"PRE-RIG" ELECTIONS

Mr Musyoka claimed the Registrar of Persons was being used to “pre-rig the next elections” by failing to issue ID cards to youth in Cord-dominated regions.

Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama said the Okoa Kenya initiative would enable the people to send the IEBC home before the next elections.

Earlier in the day, IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba said they had not been able to verify the signatures in the required time because they were presented manually.

Mr Muthama’s sentiments were echoed by Senators Wetang’ula and Hassan Omar. Mr Wetang’ula called for a free and fair voter registration.

He said Kenyans were tired of Jubilee rule as it had failed to end corruption, restore peace and develop the country.

“Kenyans are tired. Kenyans are angry. They say enough is enough. They are asking if we will be together in the next elections,” said Mr Wetang’ula.

APPEAL TO VOTERS

The leaders appealed to Kenyans to register as voters in large numbers.

Wiper chairman David Musila said more than half-a-million eligible voters from Kitui, Machakos and Makueni counties either did not register or vote in 2013.

“We have come here to take stock of how we voted in 2013. If half-a-million eligible voters from this region had registered and voted in the last elections, Raila and Kalonzo would be in State House today.”

He played down the absence of Governor Alfred Mutua, saying they could not waste time discussing someone who was absent. But Senator Boni Khalwale could not resist tearing into Mr Mutua.

He said as the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee he would make sure that Governor Mutua was held to account for the way he is running the county.

Governors Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) and Dr Julius Malombe (Makueni) attended the meeting and vowed to stand with Cord.