Nasa leaders cite threat to Raila 'swearing in' plan

Monday December 4 2017

Former senators Johnson Muthama and Boni Khalwale

Former senators Johnson Muthama (right) and Boni Khalwale go through their statement on Friday, shortly before they joined other Nasa leaders for a press conference in Nairobi, where they unveiled the organising committee for the ‘People’s Assembly’. PHOTO | ANDREW KILONZI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SAMWEL OWINO
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By IBRAHIM ORUKO
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A team unveiled by the National Super Alliance to find a way to have coalition leader Raila Odinga declared the “people’s president” says it is being intimidated by the government.

The organising committee, unveiled on Friday, is supposed to come up with a plan for defying the Jubilee government — including a fresh election and secession through a “people’s assembly”.

After a meeting at Nasa’s Okoa Kenya offices in Lavington, Nairobi, the team remained tight-lipped on the agenda of the talks.

A source, however, told the Nation that the plan to swear in Mr Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka as president and deputy president, respectively, on December 12 was one of the items discussed.

The Sunday Nation reported that sections of Nasa were opposed to the swearing-in, which would be of dubious legality and possibly largely symbolic.

NO CHAIRPERSON

Mr Odinga successfully contested the presidential election of August 8, which he had lost, but boycotted the Supreme Court-ordered repeat election that was held on October 26.

The division pits mainly younger politicians against the seasoned ones, who believe that being sworn in would be catastrophic for Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka.

On Sunday, Nasa sources told the Nation that the committee had agreed not to elect a chairperson for fear that the State would target him or her.

“There is a legitimate fear within the committee that picking one to chair it will invite ridicule and unnecessary attacks from the State, which would derail our work,” the source said. According to the Nasa communiqué issued on Friday, the work of the committee will be to guide, facilitate and co-ordinate the programme of the various people’s assemblies across the country. It has also been mandated to set up and oversee a national secretariat that will be the centre for the activities of the assemblies, among other duties.

Members are Senator Judy Sijeny, Ms Hamida Kibwana, Dr Mutakha Kangu, Mr Oduor Ong’wen, Mr Koitamet ole Kina, Mr Peter Mathuki and Dr David Ndii.

WILL NOT RELENT

On Sunday, Nasa CEO Norman Magaya and former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale were guarded on the workings of the committee and referred the Nation to either the leader of the committee, Dr Ndii or Mr Ong’wen.

The opposition has refused to recognise President Kenyatta’s victory. On Sunday, Mr Odinga said in Kakamega County they will not relent until there is electoral reform.

“We are on track and I’m confident we will fix what went wrong with the elections and denied us victory,” said Mr Odinga.

He spoke after attending the opening match of the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) between Kenya and Rwanda at Bukhungu Stadium.