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ELECTION 2022

NASA intensified revolt splits the country

POLITICS
By Jacob Ng’etich and Roselyne Obala | Nov 4th 2017 | 3 min read
(From left) Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris and Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo (Right), address press conferences on 3rd November 2017 at Okoa Kenya office in Lavington in Nairobi. Nasa urge their supporters to resists Safaricom, Bidco, Brookside and other products. [Edward Kiplimo,Standard]

With only a day to the deadline for filing a petition against the repeat presidential election, the National Super Alliance (NASA) dug in with more demands as they continued protesting against the poll.

Barely a day after NASA leader Raila Odinga announced plans to create a people’s assembly to agitate for fresh elections and electoral reforms, the Opposition multi-pronged strategy includes agitation through Parliament, protests and picketing and boycott of some products from companies allegedly sympathetic to the Jubilee Party.

Wider strategy

And they made good their boycott threats on Friday, asking supporters not to buy or use some products. The boycott, announced by a group of NASA MPs is seen as part of the wider strategy that will culminate into the petitioning of county assemblies across the country to sanction the creation of the “people’s government”.

NASA’s political schemes began last week as they sought to put pressure on Jubilee and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for free and fair credible election within 90 days.

Their call for boycott of Safaricom, Brookside and Bidco decision drew sharp reactions from Jubilee and industry lobby groups, who said the Opposition was engaging in economic sabotage and risking huge job loses especially in areas where these businesses operate.

Raila had last week launched a National Resistance Movement (NRM) wing of the alliance, paving the way for the political manouvres unfolding fast and furious.  

And yesterday, the MPs released a broad road map they said will move the country to the path to ending electoral autocracy and return it to democracy through free, fair and credible elections.

“We have a long and comprehensive list of companies, both local and global on our radars and which we will be naming at intervals,” said Busia County MP Florence Mutua while addressing the press at Okoa Kenya offices in Nairobi.

Deputy President William Ruto immediately condemned the call for boycott, labelling the opposition leaders as extortionists in their call targeting the three firms, including one linked with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family.

In in his Twitter handle, the DP urged the corporate firms to reject extortion by the opposition leadership.

He was the most prominent leader to respond to the boycott calls made by the NASA MPs, whose leader Raila has vowed to initiate civil disobedience in the push for electoral reforms.

In their reaction, industry actors led Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) and Kenya Private Sector Alliance, said the business enterprises should not be caught in political cross-fires.

NASA has formed a team of 15 legislators to spearhead the economic strategy.

“The end game is that we will be the people who will end electoral fraud not only in Kenya but in all of Africa and be the team that will uproot the evil culture of sham elections with pre-determined outcomes,” said Ole Kina.

Road map

“We have begun the liberation of this country. Companies that decided to go to bed with Jubilee will not be left out. They decided to subvert the will of the people as was the case in 2007 and 2013,” said Junet.

On Tuesday, Raila had laid out his broad road map for putting the country on the path to ending “electoral autocracy” and returning to democracy through free and credible polls.

The principals tasked NRM with the mandate of interpreting and implementing the broad road map.

On Thursday, Raila and Mudavadi hosted NASA affiliated governors at a Karen hotel where they discussed the process to form the “Peoples’ Assemblies” in their counties.

The assemblies will bring together governors, MPs and MCAs as they seek to form a broad agenda that will culminate in a planned major national conference in Nairobi.

NASA’s agitations come days after boycotting the October 26 elections, claiming they would not be free and fair.

Before the elections, NASA had unveiled 12 irreducible minimums they insisted must be implemented before participating in the repeat polls.  

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