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Raila rallies Azimio governors against 'undemocratic' regime

 Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir (left), ODM leader Raila Odinga and Governor James Orengo (Siaya) consult during the meeting held in Naivasha, Nakuru County, on November 25, 2022. [File, Standard]

Azimio is rallying governors aligned to the coalition against alleged "undemocratic anti-Constitutional" acts of President William Ruto.

The coalition leader Raila Odinga Friday met governors in Naivasha, Nakuru County, where it was agreed that the governors form a caucus with their deputies in and outside the Council of Governors, ward representatives, Members of Parliament and senators to keep the Kenya Kwanza government in check.

Inside the Azimio plan to keep the Ruto government in check are street protests against what they termed as resistance against authoritarian rule.

The meeting was attended Martha Karua who was Raila's running mate in the presidential race, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, ODM chair Wycliffe Oparanya and former Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa.

They deliberated on various issues ranging from the outcome of August 9 election to the high cost of living. The predicament of the four IEBC commissioners who are facing a parliamentary probe was also discussed.

Sources in the meeting told The Saturday Standard that the key agenda was to build a united front to counter the government, which they all agreed was undemocratic and vengeful.

Ruto's political manoeuvers

Discussions centered on working closely with elected Azimio leaders and keeping them updated on the coalition agenda and the need to stick together in the face of a government that is determined to weaken the Opposition.

According to one of the governors who did not wish to be named, Raila and the other Azimio leaders were concerned with President Ruto's political manoeuvers that they feel were aimed at weakening Azimio by targeting those who worked with the coalition during the August 9 General Election.

Raila particularly appeared more concerned with Ruto's political moves, expressing his fear that his team was losing its political strength and is weak against the ruling Kenya Kwanza alliance.

"There is a general feeling that Ruto is consolidating more powers and seems to be preparing his troops for the next General Election," said the governor. "He is reaching out to people who did not support him and trying to eat into Raila's political bases. That is what informed that meeting."

Another county chief, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said Raila is concerned with the action taken by Parliament against the four IEBC commissioners.

"He fears that if he allows the process to continue and the four are kicked out of the commission, this will work against him politically. Who would want to work with him, should he seek another stab at the presidency?" posed the governor.

But when addressing the media after their day-long deliberations, the 22 governors and the coalition leadership echoed remarks made by Raila a day earlier.

He had accused the Kenya Kwanza government of dragging the country back to the dark days while violating human rights.

After the meeting, Raila wrote on his Twitter address: "This regime wasn't ready to lead. It has no idea of how to solve Kenya's problems and seems obsessed with campaigning. The method of deceit and false promises is out of control and will not be allowed to harm our lives. We'll continue pushing the causes of the people of Kenya."

In the statement read by Kisumu Governor Peter Anyang' Nyong'o, the coalition hit out at the government noting that it was reintroducing dictatorship through the back door.

While questioning the legality of the government, Nyong'o said they would not allow the country to be taken back to the dark days of oppression and dictatorship.

"We shall hold reflections and consultations with Kenyans on the required resistance and struggle to protect our democracy. We shall not allow the re-establishment of authoritarian rule, and the violations of human rights," he said.

The governor said that they had conducted a thorough analysis of the country and it emerged that Kenyans were suffering.

The governor said the current government is not prepared to lead and had no clue on how to fix Kenya's problems adding that it was obsessed with campaigning.

"This regime of lies, deceit and false promises is out of its depth and shall not be allowed to ruin our lives," he said.

The coalition revisited the elections terming them as an illegality conducted by IEBC. "The Kenya Kwanza regime may have the appearance of legality but does not have the legitimacy from the people. We remind the people of Kenya that slavery may have been legal in some jurisdictions but remained repugnant to morality and justice," he said.

The coalition demanded the immediate resignation of IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati.

"It is our demand that Chebukati and the other two outgoing IEBC commissioners should immediately proceed to their terminal leave to stop further cannibalisation of the commission," he said.

He added that the quest for electoral reforms would continue, adding that they would never allow the rigging of elections to become normal.

"We condemn in the strongest terms possible the revenge mission the regime has embarked on against conscientious commissioners of the IEBC who had the audacity to reject the electoral coup perpetrated by the IEBC chair," he said.

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