Cord to proceed with protests to oust IEBC

Friday April 29 2016

Ruaraka MP Tom Kajwang' fires up the crowd outside Anniversary Towers in Nairobi on April 25, 2016. They were demanding the removal of IEBC officials. Cord leaders on April 28, 2016 said the push to eject the commission would not be stopped. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Ruaraka MP Tom Kajwang' fires up the crowd outside Anniversary Towers in Nairobi on April 25, 2016. They were demanding the removal of IEBC officials. Cord leaders on April 28, 2016 said the push to eject the commission would not be stopped. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ISAAC ONGIRI
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By JULIUS MUSUNGU
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Cord leader Raila Odinga has said the planned countrywide protests and occupation of electoral commission offices set to start from Tuesday next week will continue as planned.

Mr Odinga said that the push to eject the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan and eight other commissioners would not be stopped.

He said there was nothing unconstitutional in picketing, adding that the law allows peaceful demonstrations.

He urged the police to stop violent attacks on peaceful demonstrators.

The Opposition leader revisited the position even as four TNA lawmakers led by Mr Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Mr Dennis Waweru (Dagoretti South), Mr Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu), Ms Alice Ng’ang’a (Thika Town) and JAP’s Ferdinand Waititu (Kabete) rushed to court, seeking orders to stop the planned demonstrations.

Mr Odinga was speaking in Mosiro, Kajiado County, a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta warned him against allegedly inciting Kenyans.

The President had urged Mr Odinga to stop illegal demonstrations that could spark violence.

“Our resolve to kick out the IEBC commissioners will continue. We will not be intimidated on this matter, “Mr Odinga said.

The Cord leader expressed shock that the President was pushing them to follow the law when unorthodox tactics were used to defeat an appeal by the opposition challenging President Kenyatta’s win in the 2013 General Election.

UNSHAKEN
On Thursday, Cord Management Committee co-chairman Johnstone Muthama and James Orengo warned the coalition would boycott the 2017 poll if the nine IEBC commissioners defy the campaign that will begin on Tuesday to kick them out of office.

“Our planned demonstrations will proceed on Tuesday in all the designated venues as earlier communicated. We will do it peacefully and continuously until we kick out Mr Hassan and his team,” Mr Muthama said.

He said the coalition was planning only peaceful demonstrations and called on the police to desist from using force against the demonstrators.

“They must be ready to carry over 20 million tear gas canisters. We will not stop until we eject an incompetent, irresistibly partisan and corrupt commission from office,” Mr Muthama told the Nation by telephone from South Korea.

And Mr Orengo said: “We are reluctant to pursue the constitutional approach because these mechanisms were at the heart of the Okoa Kenya referendum campaign.”

ODM Director of Elections Junet Mohammed said the commission was operating in total secrecy only consulting the governing coalition as it prepares for the 2017 elections.

“IEBC officials go to State House to brief Mr Kenyatta and see no need to meet Cord until we demand a meeting, which the chairman skips,” he stated.