Cord principals met for several hours on Monday at Raila Odinga’s Capitol Hill Centre office before driving to Uhuru Park, the venue of the Saba Saba rally.
At the centre – where they were flanked by more than 30 leaders including MPs, senators and MCAs, they went through their proposed 13 resolutions and agreed on regional speech makers.
Each speaker was to deliver a specific message – with some addressing devolution, others the electoral agency, corruption, the cost of living and insecurity among others.
THREE WHITE SHIRTS
It was here that a new idea of a movement called Okoa Kenya (OK) or “Save Kenya” was mooted and launched at Uhuru Park.
Three white shirts with messages and decorated with national colours were also given to Mr Odinga, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka and Mr Moses Wetang’ula – the Cord co-principals.
“We hope the event will be peaceful. All our rallies have been trouble-free. It is shocking that security of this magnitude has been unleashed here to scare people from coming,” Suna East MP Junet Mohammed said.
Others at Capitol Hill were Senators Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu), Johnstone Muthama (Machakos), James Orengo (Siaya), Otieno Kajwang’ (Homa Bay), Hassan Omar (Mombasa), MPs Jakoyo Midiwo (Gem) and John Mbadi (Suba).
While at Mr Odinga’s office, the leaders monitored events at Uhuru Park where they also received reports of a brief confrontation between security officers and Cord supporters that led to the police firing tear gas canisters.
They also received briefs on crowd flow to the venue and general security.
Unlike in past rallies when the place is normally filled to capacity by lunch hour, the heavy police presence appeared to have discouraged many.
Before driving to Uhuru Park the leaders went to Crowne Plaza for lunch. It is here that they put on the white shirts.
Mr Musyoyka said the message advocated peace.
“Our mission all along was to conduct a peaceful rally. We have done that before and this was not going to be any different,” said the former vice-president.