NASA has listed five areas the Government must reform for it to stop its push for civil disobedience meant to undermine President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga on Sunday said they would only dialogue with the Jubilee administration if it accepted to address electoral and police reforms, ensure judicial independence, strengthen devolution and restructure the Executive.
Raila, who led other NASA leaders to a People’s Assembly meeting in Kakamega (Sunday), warned that if the issues were not on the table, then they would not engage in any form of dialogue with Jubilee.
“We want to clean up the electoral agency and systems to end rigging. The current Judiciary is threatened and we must address it. We also want to strengthen devolution and ensure proper systems of governance,” Raila said.
Uhuru has previously ruled out any talks on political issues, insisting he can only entertain discussions on economic transformation.
At one point, the President told Opposition leaders that if they wanted talks regarding last year’s political competition, then they would have to wait until 2022. Deputy President William Ruto, who is looking to succeed Uhuru, has expressed similar sentiments.
Raila said the Constitution must be amended. “It does not matter whether it is only eight years old. Even in America, the constitution was changed after only one year of its adoption.”
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka reiterated their commitment to dialogue on reforms with Uhuru.
However, he said if Uhuru ignored the Opposition, NASA would use the August 8 election presidential results to justify their swearing-in.
The Supreme Court nullified President Uhuru’s victory after the August elections following a successful petition by Raila and ordered a repeat vote on October 26 that Uhuru easily won after Raila boycotted. The apex court subsequently upheld Uhuru’s victory in the fresh election.
Kalonzo said Kenyans backed their quest for a just society. He said the electorate was prepared to take over the Government.
“We want to ensure we have a society where there is tolerance. We want to purify ourselves. Even though we will be teargassed and maimed, we are going to take over power from Jubilee,” said Kalonzo.
Raila maintained that he would be sworn in as the People’s President, alongside his deputy Musyoka, on January 30. Addressing NASA delegates and Opposition coalition leaders during the inaugural people’s assembly meeting at Golf Hotel in Kakamega, Raila said there was more to the oath than just holding and lifting the Bible.
The function brought together leaders and delegates from Western counties of Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega, Vihiga and Trans Nzoia.
“It is not just empty talk when we say we shall be sworn-in, we have proper plans in place for the ceremony. We do not want it to look like what Kizza Besigye did in Uganda,” said Raila.
Raila poured cold water on the warning by Attorney General Githu Muigai that he would be liable for high treason, punishable by life imprisonment or death penalty.
“I have tasted life in jail before for a similar judge. If that will be the ultimate prize for pushing for election justice and other reforms, we are prepared for it. Nothing is going to change, we shall go ahead and take the oath as planned,” he said.
Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetang’ula said they were exercising the power bestowed on the electorate under Article 1 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 on self governance. He said they did not require permission from anybody to convene the People’s assembly meetings.
“We stand on solid grounds to declare Raila and Kalonzo as President and Deputy President. If Jubilee will not relinquish power to NASA, we will force them out,” he said.
“When God promised the children of Israel Canaan, he promised them a great destination but he did not promise them an easy route. We are on course and we ask for your support,” Wetang’ula said.
ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi said they were pushing for reforms to rescue future generations from “atrocities that Kenyans are facing under Jubilee”.
“We want electoral justice. We want to protect Kenyans who would one day seek elective seats from being exploited,” he said.
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Vihiga Senator George Khaniri said they planned to use yesterday’s rally to swear in Raila but he declined it. “We don’t want anymore press briefings from Mudavadi and Wetang’ula about plans to swear-in Raila, we are ready to go,” said Khaniri.