SECTIONS
Premium

Prepare for heavy backlash, Raila tells Ruto

Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Azimio leader Raila Odinga says the Opposition is ready to go to the trenches to oppose the manner President William Ruto is running the country.

Raila said the President has declared war on the opposition and was setting the stage to rig the 2027 elections, including appointing his allies to key positions.

He said he would lead Nairobi residents to Kamukunji Grounds to seek views on whether Kenyans were comfortable with the manner Kenya Kwanza is running the country.

“On December 12, we will be headed back to Kamukunji to address Kenyans on the state of the nation. We have seen the country taking the wrong direction in less than three months since this regime took office,” said Raila. 

Raila, who addressed ODM delegates in Nairobi yesterday, claimed the President was repeating the same mistake late President Mwai Kibaki committed by unilaterally appointing Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners setting the stage for a bungled election in 2007.

“Ruto is repeating the same mistake (Mwai) Kibaki did in 2007 when he unilaterally appointed IEBC commissioners, leading to a bungled election which resulted in the death of more than 1,000 people. It is unfortunate he has not learnt from history,” said Raila. He claimed plans to amend the Constitution to change the composition of the IEBC selection panel was aimed at having people who will do the President’s bidding.

‘Cherera four’

He said the recent appearances by the embattled four IEBC commissioners before the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs was an exercise with a predetermined outcome.

Raila claimed he won the August 9 election and accused IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati of presiding over rigging that saw commission vice chair Juliana Cherera and three commissioners disown the results.

“Our victory was stolen during the August elections but due to our love for the country, we opted not to let the country burn. However, this administration has gone too far and we cannot keep silent,” said Raila.

The former Prime Minister claimed State appointments by Ruto do not reflect the face of the Kenya and that the Judiciary had been captured by the Executive, negating the principle of separation of power.

Raila wondered how a ship full of imported maize would dock at the port of Mombasa a few days after a Cabinet Secretary announced that the government would allow importation of maize while knowing farmers had a bumper harvest.

“Kenyans are now coming to terms with the fact that most promises made by Kenya Kwanza may not be achieved since they were not well thought out and some are not implementable,” said Raila.

The Azimio boss said his supporters had given the current administration easy time to run the country’s affairs but were growing impatient amid fears that the new administration is reversing gains.

Yesterday, Raila said Ruto’s grand plan was to stifle the opposition by ensuring there is only one political party hence the poaching of influential elected leaders from rival outfits.

He said Ruto may succeed in taking a few opposition leaders to his side but their supporters will remain where they are since they are not happy with the ways things are going barely two months after the General Election.

“The Ruto administration should be aware that it can fool some people sometimes but not all the people all the time since Kenyans are facing harsh economy times and the government is doing nothing to alleviate their pains,” said Raila.