Raila, Kalonzo back on Friday as NASA plan grand march

Opposition leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka leave a church service at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi on August 27. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]
Opposition leader Raila Odinga returns to the country on Friday after over a week in the US, even as his supporters embarked on a grand reception.

Raila, who leaves the US (Tuesday), will make a stopover in Europe where he is expected to meet his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka in Germany.

Depart Germany

The two are then expected to depart Germany on Thursday night and arrive in Nairobi Friday morning in time for a series of political rallies in the city.

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On Monday, National Super Alliance (NASA) said it will hold what it termed a "grand rehearsal" at the historic Kamkunji grounds this Thursday.

“To this effect, the organisers of the grand welcome invite supporters to a major rally at the Kamkunji grounds. The rally will be a dress-rehearsal for the Friday grand welcome,” a statement from the Opposition coalition read in part.

The statement was co-signed by Siaya Senator James Orengo and former senators Johnson Muthama (Machakos) and Boni Khalwale (Kakamega).

Sham elections

“We welcome all Kenyans to this grand Thursday rally and the arrival party on Friday. All these are part of our continuing journey of ensuring electoral justice and putting to an end the evil culture of sham elections with predetermined outcomes,” it added.

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Organisers say the Opposition leaders will be received at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from where they will begin a procession on Mombasa Road before concluding with a rally at Uhuru Park.

Raila who left Kenya last Tuesday, addressed participants at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, last Thursday where he took a swipe at foreign envoys in Kenya for supporting the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

During the meeting, Raila accused diplomats in Nairobi of favouring President Kenyatta and the Jubilee administration during the disputed August 8 presidential election.

He claimed instead of assisting Kenya to resolve the crisis caused by lack of free and fair elections, the envoys were fuelling it.

“The envoys' efforts up to now have not succeeded in diffusing the crisis. Let me be blunt again. They sometimes have contributed to the problem,” Raila told his audience at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

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“I have come to Washington to convey a simple message: We need a fuller engagement from the many arms of governance that your country possesses to assist envoys based in Nairobi,” he said.

Raila OdingaKalonzo MusyokaNASAnrm