Raila in Kisumu to plan for the swearing in rallies in Kakamega as MPs back move

NASA leader Raila Odinga in a dance with other leaders during Boxing Day celebrations at Siaya Senator James Orengo’s home in Ugenya. The Opposition leader arrived in Kisumu on Friday ahead of Sunday’s rally in Kakamega. [File, Standard]

NASA leader Raila Odinga silently flew into Kisumu Friday, keeping local leaders and supporters guessing as he held a series of secret meetings with his family and top aides.

His surprise visit ahead of Sunday’s People’s Assembly meeting in Kakamega caught local MPs and supporters flatfooted.

The NASA leader, whose presence in the lakeside town normally raises a political stir, landed at the Kisumu International Airport in the morning and was received by Deputy Governor Andrew Owili and his elder brother and East Africa Legislative Assembly (Eala) MP Oburu Oginga.

Private meetings

He then drove to a Kisumu hotel where he stayed briefly before heading into a private meeting at his family business -- Specter International -- premises at Otonglo.

Journalists, local leaders and youth who raced to the company premises after learning of his presence were turned away by aides who said he was in a private meeting.

“Jakom is in town for private meetings. We will invite you should he need you,” one of Raila’s aides told Saturday Standard on phone.

Although the NASA leader spent most of the time in closed door family meetings, sources said the Sunday rally in Kakamega was also discussed.

“They will also discuss the People’s Assembly timetable and the Sunday meeting which will pave the way for countrywide activities,” said the source.

Raila and NASA co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka are expected to take oath of office as the people’s President and Deputy President respectively on January 30 in Nairobi.

On Thursday, NASA released a timetable for People’s Assembly meetings across the country and announced the formation of an Assumption of Office committee expected to coordinate the oath taking plans.

Raila was also expected to meet some close advisers and MPs Friday ahead of the Kakamega rally. 

Some MPs allied to NASA insist that Raila and Kalonzo must take oath of office as planned.

Speaking Friday, MPs Olago Aluoch (Kisumu West), Jared Okello (Nyando), Antoney Oluoch (Mathare North), Vincent Kemosi (West Mugirango), Mark Nyamita (Uriri) and Godfrey Osotsi (Nominated) said they expect the NASA leader to be sworn in this time round.

But the NASA leadership clarified that Raila will not be sworn in as Head of State and that he will not occupy State House but will operate as the Supreme Ruler respected by Kenyans.

“The sovereign power lies with the people. This is why we want to swear in Raila as the People’s President with the people’s mandate to rule over them,’’ said Olago.

The NASA move, they said, will usher in a new form of government anchored by the concept of the sovereignty of the people.

Electoral reforms

“He will be crowned as the father or patriarch of the nation and not as the President of Kenya,’’ asserted Olago.

He said it is after he has taken oath that he will be better positioned to seriously embrace and dialogue with the Jubilee government on electoral reforms.

AG Githu Muigai has warned against swearing in Raila and Kalonzo, saying such a move is illegal in the eyes of the law.

But Okello said Raila’s swearing in is aimed at pushing for electoral reforms.

“As a country, we cannot vaunt about democracy when only a few financial oligarchs manipulate the will of millions of Kenyan voters through the ballot,’’ Okello said.

Political Scientist Herman Manyora of the University of Nairobi warned against the swearing in of Raila and Kalonzo.

He said doing so would be courting political disaster. “I would rather Jubilee and NASA leaders sit and agree than push this country into bloodshed,’’ said Dr Manyora.

He claimed that playing hard will not solve the current political impasse.

“No country can move ahead if a significant stake of the population is pulling apart,’’ he said

Manyora also warned that the country could slide into anarchy if the current stalemate is not resolved.

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