You will be held accountable if there is chaos, CORD leaders told

Jubilee leaders want Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) leaders held personally responsible for any events that may lead to chaos, economic sabotage or threats to lives and destruction of property.

They said the ruling by High Court Judge Isaac Lenaola was clear that organisers of today's rally are duty-bound and obligated by law to rein in their supporters to maintain peace and avoid disrupting normal life.

CORD leader Raila Odinga will Monday lead his co-principals, Kalonzo Musyoka and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula in hosting a rally at Uhuru Park, after a series of rallies the opposition has been holding to push for national dialogue.

Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki and his National Assembly counterpart Aden Duale say CORD members have a duty to respect the rights of other Kenyans who do not subscribe to their ideals.

They asked the opposition to respect the Constitution and the court ruling that barred CORD from mass action during today's Saba Saba rally.

Justice Isaac Lenaola had last week restrained CORD from calling for mass action in a case filed by Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko who wanted the rally stopped.

The judge ruled that in the event the three CORD principals defy the court order and call for mass action, leading to violence during the rally, then they will be held personally responsible for the consequences.

However, CORD leaders have demanded that Justice Lenaola quits office, accusing him of witch-hunt.

But Sunday Kindiki and Duale asked Raila to respect and uphold the court ruling.

"The former prime minister should know that our Judiciary is an independent institution and any ruling from the courts should be respected no matter how you may disagree within it. There are legal mechanisms provided for appealing in law," Kindiki said.

He accused Raila of double standards especially when court rulings do not please him and urged the CORD leader to accept the fact that legal battles are not won in public rallies or through political declarations.

"The ruling was delivered in accordance with the law and those unhappy with it had an opportunity to appeal, something they never did. They have an obligation to uphold that ruling," the Tharaka Nithi Senator said.

"Police know exactly what to do when there is a breach of the law. They have a duty to protect Kenyans and their property and we expect normal operations at the city and other parts of the country. Those found to sow seeds of hate and discord should face the law," he added.

Duale said it is political cowardice for the opposition to demand for the resignation of a judge just because his ruling was not made in their favour, adding that the CORD leaders will carry their crosses in case of any disturbances.

"The position of the Jubilee alliance is that we have no objection to members of any political party including CORD convening a gathering to discuss issues, but that must be within the parameters of the law in such a manner that does not infringe on the rights of other Kenyans," Duale told The Standard.

He said the opposition is free to hold the rally but should avoid incidences that may lead to chaos.

"CORD must realise that just as they have a right to assemble, other Kenyans have a right to open their businesses, sell their wares, deliver services expected of them without hindrances, intimidation or threats," he said.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader Beatrice Elachi urged CORD not to push the country to the edge through ethnic incitement.

"The country cannot afford to go through what we saw in the aftermath of the 2007 general elections. Our opposition leaders should realise the cost of some of their utterances to national healing and cohesion," she said.

She urged CORD to conduct a peaceful rally.