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Raila Odinga should be held accountable for Monday chaos, Jubilee says

By Wilfred Ayaga | May 18th 2016 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Jubilee has told Opposition chief Raila Odinga to take responsibility for Monday’s chaos that saw police violently disperse CORD protesters.

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale led 20 MPs in claiming that the Opposition leader should be held accountable for the bloodshed experienced during the anti-Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) protests that were marred by looting and destruction of property.

“Raila Odinga should be held personally responsible for the blood that was shed yesterday. He is responsible for the people who lost their lives because his goons broke into and destroyed shops, restaurants, kiosks and M-Pesa booths,” they said in a statement.

“He should be stopped in his tracks and the time to stop him is now. He represents and perpetuates a culture that the only way to resolve issues in Kenya is through violence. This is backward and unacceptable.” 

The MPs were speaking at Parliament buildings a day after police descended on the hundreds of protesters, some armed with stones and others crude weapons.

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Earlier on, another group of Jubilee MP said the riots had gone overboard and asked Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to treat the protesters as criminals.

Criminal riots

The MPs included Maina Kamanda (Starehe), Denis Waweru (Dagoretti South) and Waihenya Ndirangu (Roy Sambu). Others were John Njoroge (Kasarani), Stephen Kariuki (Mathare) and Benson Mutura (Makadara).

“We are not going to allow innocent Kenyans to suffer at the hands of criminals in CORD demonstrations. CORD wants to take power by force in disguise of reforms. It should follow constitutional means to remove IEBC officials,” said Mr Kamanda.

“The IG should not allow any further criminal riots either in Nairobi or anywhere else. And if he is unable, peace loving Kenyans will take it upon themselves to ensure that their daily peaceful lives are no longer interrupted and their property destroyed with such impunity,” he added.

The Opposition is demanding the exit of IEBC commissioners on claims that they cannot be trusted to oversee free and fair elections in 2017. CORD vowed to continue with the protests until the commissioners quit. Jubilee leaders questioned the attempted uprooting of a railway line in Kibra by CORD supporters, and argued that CORD in not interested in reforms but in creating a culture of violence.

“We want to know the relationship between IEBC and uprooting the railway line. What is the relationship between looting that accompanies demonstrations with IEBC,” said Duale, who said any reforms at IEBC must follow constitutional means. 
Mr Waweru said they had instructed a lawyer to take up the matter in court on behalf of those who had lost their property.

“The right of picketing should not be done by infringing on the rights of others. We are going to hold leaders individually responsible for destruction of property,” he said.

Raila Odinga iebc protests Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)
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