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Staggering turnout as loyal supporters attend CORD rally

By Graham Kajilwa | September 24th 2015

Loyal supporters of the Coalition of Reforms and Democracy (CORD) on Wednesday heeded to the party's call by attending the highly publicised rally at Uhuru Park in solidarity with the striking teachers.

The tight security at the entrance of the park with police officers from all departments dotted everywhere did not stop the crowds that stormed in making it difficult for the police to administer the usual security check.

Armed with placards, twigs and branded Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) attires, the crowds ceased the moment to express their disgust to the government, more so President Uhuru Kenyatta whom they said should resign.

The placards had messages such as; “No cash, no chalk" Uhuru Must Go and others read-"Even Presidents are taught by teachers."

CORD leaders, led by Ruaraka Member of Parliament TJ Kajwang showcased their solidarity with the teachers by turning up in school uniforms. Dressed in school blouses, ties and trousers, Kisumu Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga and Homabay Women Representative Gladys Wanga joined their counterparts in solidarity.

However, the highly anticipated rally did not start at 9am as planned with the CORD leader Raila Odinga showing up some minutes to noon.

Carrying his usual black whisker, Machakos senator Johnstone Muthama and his Kakamega counterpart Boni Khalwale did a jig to entice the crowd.

"I had a case at Milimani Court which has been unexpectedly adjourned. Since I had asked for an off, I chose to just come here and relax my mind as I ponder my next move," said Peterson Kamau who attended the rally.

Kamau said that he had no idea there was a rally: "You know we live in a middle income economy where we worry a lot of what we shall have than anything else. More so, teachers should not expect any help from such events; this is politics."

Kin Olilo, a teacher at one of the city's primary schools said he attended the rally because he is taking part-time classes in town: "since my classes are over for the day, I chose to come and see what plans they may have for us."

Olilo however expressed his disgust saying that the rally was more political than a highlight of teachers' plight: "Even those protesting are intoxicated, and indulging in fights every now and then. There is no teacher here, these are just jobless Kenyans trying to find something to do with their lives.

The staggering turnout of the crowd made Ruaraka Member of Parliament TJ Kajwang lash out at a local television station for focusing a lot on the empty patches of the park rather than the dispersed crowds. This made a group of local youth threaten to dismantle and throw out the camera men.

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