Prepare for CORD regime next year, declares Raila

CORD leaders (from left) Kalonzo Musyoka, Raila Odinga and Siaya Senator James Orengo at the Jomo Kenyatta Sports Grounds in Kisumu yesterday to witness the start of voter registration. [Photo: COLLINS ODUOR/Standard]

Opposition leaders concluded the governors' meeting in Kisumu with a political message that Kenyans should "prepare the ground for a CORD government in 2017".

Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang'ula exuded confidence that they would marshal enough numbers to kick Jubilee out of power in next year's General Election.

Said Raila: "Jubilee does not deserve a second term. In fact, Jubilee never deserved a term at all. Let us leave this place with a single mission of improving the lives of our people and helping them register with a view to voting Jubilee out and putting CORD in charge."

"The full realisation of the potential of devolution will only come with the installation of a truly pro-devolution national government. That will have to be a CORD government," Raila told governors at the closed-door meeting.

The CORD leaders said over nine million eligible Kenyans had not registered as voters yet the electoral body was only targeting four million.

They accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of skewing the distribution of voter registration kits.

"The current voter registration exercise is skewed and compromised in favour of Jubilee through unequal and unfair distribution of BVR kits," they said in a statement issued at the close of the meeting.

In the statement, the governors joined the trio in criticising the IEBC.

However, IEBC chairman Isaak Hassan yesterday defended the distribution of electronic listing equipment and clarified that contrary to fears by the Opposition over the manner and criteria used in the distribution of BVR kits, the commission relied on the size of the wards and not the population.

Hassan explained that county assembly wards with less than 30km square have been allocated one kit while those with between 501km square and 5,000km square were allocated three kits per ward.

The CORD meeting resolved that Raila, Kalonzo and Wetang'ula must urgently seek audience with the IEBC to discuss what they termed skewed distribution of the BVR kits, while supporters must turn out and register.

Speaking at Jomo Kenyatta Sports Grounds where they visited a registration centre, the leaders said BVR kits should be distributed where people have numbers not according to  geographical location.

The leaders called for increased funding to IEBC through the supplementary budget to enable the body to extend the voter registration from 30 to 60 days.

Affirming the position of the governors as key cogs in the political arena, Raila said the county chiefs were at the frontline of the coalition's plans for a better Kenya.

The meeting praised the spirit of unity in diversity among governors from across the political divide.

The summit was attended by Governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), James Ongwae (Kisii) and Julius Malombe (Kitui).

Others were Cornel Rasanga (Siaya), Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), John Nyangarama (Nyamira), Sospeter Ojaamong' (Busia) and Jack Ranguma of Kisumu.

Deputy governors were Jonathan Mueke (Nairobi), Ouma Onyango (Siaya), Hamilton Orata (Homa Bay), Dan Maangi (Kisii) and Ruth Odinga (Kisumu).