By KENNETH KWAMA
Summons similar to the one issued last week to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s aide Eliud Owalo to appear before CID over allegations of a plot to destabilise the Government are not new to the opposition.
They were once issued to leaders of the country’s first opposition party, Kadu at independence.
On July 23, 1963, East African Standard carried a story on page one with the headline; ‘Kadu going too far’ claim in which it quoted Kenya’s first Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Tom Mboya saying the party was a threat to national unity and speeches by its leaders were being studied by the Government.
“Mr Mboya specifically mentioned weekend speeches made by the Kadu president and the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Ngala, ‘suggesting that he had powers to order all the regions immediately to declare autonomy,’ and by the Kadu chairman, Mr Moi, ‘who not only repeated this demand for autonomy but even threatened bloodshed and violence to attain it.”
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The happenings give credence to the saying that the forest is the same, but it’s the monkeys that change.
Owalo was yesterday expected to appear before the CID to explain his involvement with a group referred to as the March Four Movement (M4M), which the Government has associated with alleged subversive activities.
Some politicians have since come out and said that the real target of what they referred to, as ‘intimidation of opposition leaders by the police’ was Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leader, Raila Odinga.
In 1963, Mboya who was then the ruling party Kanu’s secretary linked Kadu to similar plots.
The question is; could linking opposition with such plots be schemes mooted by the Government to attain self-serving objectives?
Just like the post-election period in 1963 after Kadu had lost to Kanu in the elections, CORD lost to the Jubilee Alliance on March 4, and is struggling to find new identity and space. But while Owalo was summoned by the CID, Mboya only said he believed the Government should take firm action.
The paper quoted Mboya saying; ‘We see a defeated Opposition behaving with complete arrogance, challenging and trying to ridicule the position of the Prime Minister, and showing complete lack of concern for the future prosperity of Kenya.”
While Jubilee leaders have largely remained mum on what should be done to Owalo for his alleged subversive activities, Mboya was categorical about how Kadu ought to be dealt with by the independence Government.
“It was up to the opposition to justify its existence. If the only role it can play is a destructive one aimed at the dismemberment, disorganisation and disunity of Kenya, then that opposition is serving no useful purpose and it is a luxury we are not going to tolerate. We cannot afford it,” he said.