Jubilee out to silence critics, say Cord chiefs

Sunday July 03 2016

Cord leader Raila Odinga addresses a crowd during a rally at Mulu Mutisya Grounds in Machakos on July 3, 2016. Mr Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula also called on Kenyans to vote out the Jubilee administration next year. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Coalition for Reforms and Democracy leaders on Sunday accused the Jubilee government of stifling the freedom of expression through intimidation.

Mr Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula also called on Kenyans to vote out the Jubilee administration next year.

Speaking at Mulu Mutisya Gardens in Machakos County, the leaders said by arresting MPs over suspected hate speech and locking them in two police stations in Nairobi, the government was silencing its critics.

“Kenyans will continue to express themselves whether the government likes it or not,” said Mr Odinga.

The Cord co-principal claimed the government was using the police to harass the Opposition and other Kenyans instead of making use of the force to fight crime.

He added that locking up the politicians at Pangani and Muthaiga was an embarrassing and humiliating moment, which should never happen again.


Mr Odinga further accused the government of wasting public resources and cited the NYS and the Eurobond scandals as some of the ways in which the government had condoned theft.

He said the government was burdening Kenyans with debts in the name of projects yet there was little to show for them.

“This government has failed in finishing the Vision 2030 projects which former president Mwai Kibaki and I started during the Grand Coalition government,” said Mr Odinga during the public rally that was described as the ‘homecoming’ of Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama.

He was among the six MPs who were locked up at Pangani Police Station over hate speech charges.

“The government is only burdening Kenyans with debts which they will pay although they can’t see the fruits of what they paid for,” said the Mr Odinga.

Mr Musyoka warned the government against “harassing” and “intimidating” Senator Muthama, adding that Kenyans had the right to speak their minds without any fear.

He also took a swipe at Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua for abandoning his Wiper party for the Jubilee Coalition.

“I dare you to quit Wiper, the party which enabled you to rise to that position,” he said without mentioning Mr Mutua’s name. The Wiper leader also claimed the electoral commission rigged the 2013 presidential election on behalf of the Jubilee coalition and must be disbanded.

Senator Wetang’ula hit out at the government for failing to honour rights such as freedom of speech and picketing, adding that Cord would continue to criticise the government without fear.

The Bungoma senator also called upon former Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu to join Cord and unite with Mr Musyoka.

Mr Muthama said he would not honour any summonses by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) or the police over hate speech.

He read out a letter to him by NCIC Chairman Francis Ole Kaparo in which he is asked to appear before the commission for alleged hate speech he made in Busia on June 26.

“Kaparo is confusing NCIC with URP where he was once a chairman,” he said, adding that the commission had become “too politicised”.

Senator David Musila said Cord would seek a court interpretation as to what constituted hate speech.