Cord plans party to mark Raila’s return

Tuesday May 20 2014

Acting Cord leader, Mr Anyang’ Nyong’o, makes a point during a press conference by the coalition at a Nairobi hotel on May 16, 2014. The coalition opposed the payment of Anglo Leasing contracts. PHOTO | DENISH OCHIENG

Acting Cord leader, Mr Anyang’ Nyong’o, makes a point during a press conference by the coalition at a Nairobi hotel on May 16, 2014. The coalition is organising a major home-coming event for its leader, Mr Raila Odinga, who is expected home in the next 10 days after a lengthy stay in the United States.. PHOTO | DENISH OCHIENG NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ISAAC ONGIRI
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The opposition coalition, Cord, is organising a major home-coming event for its leader, Mr Raila Odinga, who is expected home in the next 10 days after a lengthy stay in the United States.

Mr Odinga is scheduled to address a political rally at Uhuru Park, but the venue is being used by the military and other disciplined forces for rehearsals ahead of the Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1.

Cord said it will use the rally to address some national issues that include the government’s decision to pay Sh1.4 billion to two Anglo Leasing-type companies and terrorist attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa.

“Tourists are leaving our hotels and the situation might not change due to the arrogant manner in which the President is handling this matter,” Suna East MP Junet Mohammed, one of the event’s coordinators, said.

He added that Mr Odinga had given the green light for the rally. “The Cord leadership under Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o are going to set up a special team of MPs to plan the event,” Mr Mohammed said.

The MP further said that Cord was concerned about the revival of the “Kanu-like” provincial administration by the President.

He warned that the rate at which the value of the shilling was slipping against international currencies was alarming.

“We are also worried that the value of the shilling has been slipping to doom since the visit by Mr Li Keqiang, the Chinese Premier. For this event we want to appeal to the President to declare May 31 a national holiday to allow Kenyans to attend the Cord rally,” he said.

May 31 is a Saturday.

Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba said Mr Odinga deserved a befitting welcome.
Huge event

“He has been away for over two months now, attending a well-known public event in the United States. His return to Kenya requires a befitting welcome and that is why we are planning a huge event,” he said.

Mr Odinga’s spokesman, Mr Dennis Onyango, said the homecoming is being organised by the politicians, but he said that due the security situation, crowds have been requested not to go to the airport where the former PM is expected to arrive at midday.

On his return, Mr Odinga will face up to the in-house problems he left pending when he travelled to US.

Has been on a two-month break at the Boston University African Presidential Centre.

When he left, his party, ODM, had started investigations into the disruption of its National Delegates Convention at Kasarani by men in black suits.

Mr Namwamba was among key party members seeking top posts in the elections together with Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and Turkana Governor Josephat Nanok.

The findings of a team formed by Mr Odinga formed before he left are yet to be made public. The caretaker committee has yet to say when fresh elections will be held.