Nasa leader Raila Odinga says he will not recognise a win by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the controversial repeat poll scheduled for Thursday, signalling a deterioration of the political standoff.
In an interview with theNation, Mr Odinga also ruled out challenging the election outcome in the Supreme Court, like he successfully did following the August 8 elections, resulting in the nullification of President Kenyatta’s victory.
Any such challenge, he said, would be tantamount to legitimising the process contrary to Nasa’s stated position that the repeat election scheduled for Thursday is a charade.
“It (filing a petition) will be a waste of time. As far as we are concerned, this is not an election. Therefore, it is not a legal matter but a political one which must be dealt with as such,” he said.
Nasa’s position has been buttressed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chair Wafula Chebukati’s own admission that he cannot guarantee a credible election this week.
“You heard Chebukati say that he cannot deliver a credible poll. In fact, he said he can’t guarantee a fair one. Under such circumstances, even without addressing the issues we raised before, who would in their right frame of mind, agree to participate in such an exercise?” he asked.
The pronouncement by the opposition chief forms part of the roadmap that Nasa is expected to unveil on Wednesday together with his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka and other coalition leaders.
Speaking in Bondo and Kisumu towns on Friday, Mr Odinga stated that he would give the way out of the current political stalemate.
“I will give a way forward on October 25. But the President should know that there will be no elections,” said Mr Odinga.
“I can assure you we shall conclude this matter in an amicable way,” he added without elaborating.
In a sign of not relenting, Mr Odinga dropped hints of several options Nasa is toying with in what he calls “the next phase of the struggle”.
“We are employing different tactics, medium and long term strategies. Street protests have limitations, they are not an end in themselves. Moving forward, we will adjust the tactics. From picketing to boycotting products, there are several others that I don’t want to say now.”
Equally, Nasa could change its presidential line-up to reinvigorate it if fresh elections are to be called.
“It is an issue which we will discuss among ourselves. We do not want to go into that discussion now,” Mr Odinga said. In such an event, Mr Odinga could drop out of the race and let Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi pair up with Mr Musyoka to take on Mr Kenyatta.
The ODM party leader said that if they gave up the challenge, the culture of electoral fraud would be entrenched in the country for years to come.
“If we do not stop this computer-based rigging now, it will be institutionalised. Mwai Kibaki (former President) started it, Uhuru and Ruto did it in 2013 and again in August. That’s why you confidently hear them say that Uhuru will pass the baton to Ruto to do his 10 years. In the end, elections will become a ritual where the will of the people does not matter. We are doing this for posterity. It is not a Raila battle but a battle to establish a true democracy,” he said.
With reports of heightened behind-the-scenes efforts to get Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga to agree to end the standoff, the opposition chief admitted that Western powers had indeed reached out to him to reconsider his decision to pull out of the polls.
“There are diplomats genuinely interested in brokering truce and initiating dialogue. There are others who are basically doing public relations for Jubilee. They want elections at all costs because they know elections without us participating do not have both credibility and legitimacy. They want us to give tacit legitimacy to a rigged process so they can move on,” said the Nasa leader.
Without naming them, Mr Odinga charged that some of the envoys were doing business with Jubilee and could not be trusted to play neutral arbiters.
“They are anxious since there are projects and tenders they want to benefit from. That is why they are piling a lot of pressure on us to participate. They do not understand the magnitude of the situation.”
US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec has been at the forefront trying to get the parties to talk. His efforts are yet to pay off.
Jubilee accuses Mr Odinga of engineering the current crisis with a view to benefiting from it.
The countrywide demonstrations have seen supporters clash with State agents, with some of them being killed by police.
“Such is a self-serving narrative. They know they did not win the presidential election. We are the ones whose victory was stolen and they know it. That’s why they refused to open the servers for an audit ordered by the Supreme Court. If that was done, we would have been vindicated,” said Mr Odinga.
Mr Odinga insists that results for the Thursday poll are predetermined in favour of the President.
“The Kiems (Kenya Integrated Elections Management System) kits had long been configured to reflect results of an election that is yet to take place. In fact, after I pulled out, they are now struggling with how to reconfigure it given that before the additional candidates were brought on board, they were going to give me 42 per cent and Uhuru 58 per cent of the votes cast. They are now forced to adjust this to allocate the other individuals some votes,” he claimed.
The former Prime Minister at the same time accused President Kenyatta of turning Parliament into an appendage of the executive arm of government, passing whatever bills at his whim.
“It mirrors the constitutional changes brought to Parliament immediately after independence to entrench dictatorship by his father Jomo Kenyatta. There are just too many similarities to be coincidental. It is around the time the Public Order Act recently invoked by CS Fred Matiang’i banning demonstrations and the Chief’s Authority Act were enacted,” he said.