Cord leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday launched a stinging criticism against President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Jubilee administration, describing it as a failed government that had brought down “the house called Kenya”.
Delivering what he called a “state of the nation address” during a press conference held at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi, Mr Odinga said President Kenyatta’s government was the most corrupt in East Africa and in the history of Kenya.
His long statement focused on corruption and governance issues and largely targeted criticism at the President and his deputy, Mr William Ruto.
He said the two were taking the country back to the Kanu days of the 80s and early 90s.
“Jubilee has also embarked on a systematic rolling back of the gains made over the years and is trying to recreate the old Kanu state to create the old imperial presidency with scary dictatorial powers,” he said.
“Kenyans need to know that the children of Kanu are beginning to reintroduce the things we went to war against their fathers for.”
He said that plans to rig the 2017 elections were under way but warned that the Opposition will not allow an unfair electoral process.
He also called for an overhaul of the electoral commission.
“My brother, you must know as we all do that the IEBC has a serious legitimacy deficit. You must know, as we all do, that this country cannot and must not risk another election that does not enjoy the confidence of all parties”.
Mr Odinga said that the government had failed to fulfil its key promises on which it rode to power in the 2013 elections.
“Three years later the free laptops for primary school entrants remains a pipe dream; the stadiums in the counties remain unbuilt; the 5,000MW of electricity a cynical ploy; the promise to fight corruption one of the worst jokes ever visited on an expectant population,” he said.
“Indeed, grand theft on a scale unprecedented in East African history has become the new normal for Kenyans.”
BACK TO THE 1990s
He promised to deliver a major statement on corruption and specifically on the Eurobond scandal in coming days.
“Having failed to deliver on all its promises, and realising that Kenyans have now began to appreciate this in the most painful way possible, Jubilee is laying the groundwork to steal the 2017 elections,” said Mr Odinga, who was accompanied by several Opposition leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetangula.
He warned of an attempt to weaken the Constitution through nasty laws aimed at undermining basic human rights and freedoms.
“Jubilee is using its numbers in Parliament to muzzle independent institutions and offices in the name of giving the President powers to govern. The President has given himself the powers to appoint and dismiss the Inspector General of Police and the Chief Justice, against provisions of the Constitution,” Mr Odinga said.
He warned that Opposition MPs were being bought in the same way Kanu did in the 1990s and early 80s.
“We are back to the 1990s when MPs were paid heftily to defect from Opposition to the governing party. Harambee as a tool for control is being perfected once again,” he said.
He warned that the ground was being prepared for an authoritarian government, with elaborate plans to kill trade unions by changing the leadership of the country’s two most vibrant unions, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and Dock Workers Union.
The Cord leader accused the President of planning to hang on to power even after failing to lead Kenyans the right way.
He criticised him for mishandling security issues, saying that his response when terrorists attack the country has been wanting.
“You are clearly determined to hang onto power by whatever means even when you cannot deliver. What will you do that you have not had opportunity to do already? The path you are on is well-trodden; Laurent Gbagbo went before you, your friend Goodluck Jonathan too,” he said.
Mr Wetangula said that Jubilee forays in Western will fail because the region was fully in support of the Opposition.
“The DP is making unhelpful trips to Western. Any MP in the region who has abdicated himself to an auction ring in the area shall surely face the wrath of the people,” he said.
Kisumu Senator Prof Anyang Nyong’o warned that the Opposition will put pressure on state agencies including the anti-graft body to conduct a lifestyle audit on the Deputy President to ascertain the source of his wealth.