Raila says his dream to take Kenyans to the ‘Promised Land’ is now more than a dream.
The National Super Alliance ended their campaigns by detailing their plan to track the counting and tallying of votes after the elections on Tuesday to counter what they said was a plan by the ruling party to rig the vote.
Their main focus will be on the presidential election, through which Mr Raila Odinga is seeking to enter State House on the fourth attempt, while their faith, and their strategy, is to ensure that the system they fought for in the streets and in Parliament works.
Siaya Senator and one of the coalition’s main strategists, Mr James Orengo, said that the system is the target of rigging by the Jubilee Party.
With papers in one hand and speaking after Mr Odinga had spoken his last campaign words and danced his last campaign dance, Mr Orengo claimed that there was a plan to “top-up” votes for President Kenyatta in 16,500 polling stations in Jubilee strongholds and to do the same in the system through which the final counts in each polling station will be transmitted.
But, he said: “Jubilee cannot beat us. We’re the ones who insisted on technology and we have developed ways to beat them.
Results announced at polling stations will be final and the results to be transmitted to the Constituency Tallying Centres in the prescribed form will be the results to be announced at the constituency level.”
“They will announce and we will announce. At the polling station, they will add and we will add. At the tallying centres at the constituency, we will want to see the forms filled at the polling stations,” said Mr Orengo.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has said time and again that its systems are secure and not likely to be compromised.
Last week’s killing of one of its Information Technology managers, Chris Msando, has sparked fears that the system would be compromised but IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati has said nothing will happen to it.
Unlike 2013, the commission has successfully tested its results transmission system and procured the Kenya Integrated Election Management System kits months to the election.
Nasa’s claim that there is a plan by Jubilee to rig elections is not new, though, but their plan to counter it is reinforced by the plans to have minimal human intervention in how the votes from each corner of the country are put together.
Nasa’s solution would require that it has agents at polling stations to affirm that the votes counted are valid and what is filled in the forms specific to each polling station is correct.
The coalition has a plan to have agents at all 40,883 polling stations although it has not been clear whether it was successful in its recruitment and fundraising drive to make that strategy work.
At the final, energised rally at a nearly full Uhuru Park, the Opposition’s leading lights exuded a mix of confidence and caution.
The crowd was happy and exuberant, waving green, white and blue placards and reacting with appropriate excitement when Tanzanian artiste AliKiba took to the stage.
Even as the Nasa heads said that they had the numbers behind them, their main legal mind and Mr Odinga’s alternate chief agent, Mr Orengo, repeated their allegations that one of their tallying centres had been raided by policemen on Friday night.
He also spoke of the deportation of an American, a Canadian and two Ghanaians working with Nasa and named five men he said were among the 15 policemen he claimed raided one of the tallying centres and gave the number plate of the car they used, which he said had come from police sources.
The senator said that while they had confidence in Mr Chebukati, “there are people who work under him who are not okay. That’s why Msando was eliminated.”
The coalition held a minute of silence for Mr Msando, who is seen in Nasa circles as having been eliminated by those seeking to steal the vote.
Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, Mr Odinga’s running mate, said the police are lying when they say they are investigating the death of Msando, who was killed along with Maryanne ‘Carol’ Ngumbu.
“The Inspector-General should stop lying to Kenyans that he is conducting investigations,” said Mr Musyoka to frenzied cheers from the crowd.
A confident Mr Odinga, who has likened himself to the Biblical Joshua who got the Israelites to Canaan after the death of Moses, said that he had seen all the signs of a Tuesday win, and that the “Promised Land” was no longer a dream.
“I said a tsunami is coming and now it is here. On August 8, we are listed as Number 8 on the ballot, but on August 9, we will have reached Jerusalem as the first,” said Mr Odinga.
So confident was he yesterday that he “invited” all those at Uhuru Park for a party at State House next Saturday.
“On Saturday, you will all be my guests at State House. We will throw a party for you all,” he said.
He postured himself as the poster boy of the anti-corruption fight, repeating his consistent allegations that the Jubilee government was incorrigibly corrupt.
“Under Uhuru and Ruto rule, corruption has thrived. Under my rule, I promise you here today, I will go down to Tanzania, and I will get the Magufuli solution,” said Mr Odinga, using his long-time friend and President of Tanzania John Pombe Magufuli as a yardstick for his planned fight against the vice.
President Magufuli has been celebrated for his austerity measures and his battle against corruption in the East African nation.
He also used Mr Magufuli and his renewed relationship with his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni to harp criticism on the Jubilee government for what he said was lack of leadership from an otherwise regional powerhouse.
“Uganda and Tanzania are now thinking of doing a 1,450 kilometre oil pipeline, while the easier route Kenya had from Mombasa is only 950 kilometres. Museveni is running away from Kenya, building an expensive Sh350 billion pipeline with Tanzania because of corruption in Kenya,” said Mr Odinga.
He also passionately appealed to the 9.9 million-strong youth vote, promising them jobs if elected on Tuesday.
The former Prime Minister sought to assure his anxious, yet excited supporters at Uhuru Park – where his Kibaki Tosha declaration in 2002 catapulted Mwai Kibaki to State House against a younger Mr Kenyatta then – that the election will be peaceful, and there was no need to worry of their safety.
“Do not fear Jubilee. Do not flee where you live. Vote and wait. And on Wednesday, Uhuru will not even send police because his orders will no longer be valid,” he told the excitable crowd.
Mr Musyoka appealed to the crowd’s love for what he said was an all-inclusive nation, one that he said will be even more democratic under Mr Odinga.
“We all as the Nasa principals gave Raila a chance. If you love this nation, and you stand for true change, give Raila a chance,” said Mr Musyoka.
“We will have a free, fair, predictable and credible election.” He went on: “We love this nation. And this is going to be a democratic, all-inclusive nation. We will be peaceful. And we want to remind our police: Do not dare cause chaos in the polling stations.”
Mr Musyoka said that Jubilee’s biggest mistake was the price of unga, that he said had skyrocketed.
“When they said they are going to enjoy meat as we watch, we are telling them that we will snatch it from them and give it to the people,” he said.
Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi, who is Mr Odinga’s chief agent and currently his head of campaign, asked their supporters to “guard” Mr Odinga’s votes, telling them “We are so close.”
“What I am seeing today is a miracle. Never before have we seen such a crowd coming to endorse their leader. It is bigger than that of 2002 (when Mr Odinga said Kibaki Tosha). From August 9, we will be calling Mr Odinga Mr President!” Mr Mudavadi said.
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula also warned supporters against fleeing Nairobi, saying that such moves will make Mr Odinga lose votes. “We will show Jubilee how to run a country, because they have shown us how not to.”