Thursday, 14 April 2016

Cord to hold rally in Nairobi to rival Jubilee's Afraha meeting

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From left: Cord management committee officials
From left: Cord management committee officials Mr James Orengo, Dr Eseli Simiyu, Mr Johnstone Muthama address journalists on April 14, 2016 at Capital Hill offices in Nairobi. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE  NATION MEDIA

Cord's management committee announced that plans for the Kibra rally are complete.Opposition leader Raila Odinga will lead his allies at a rally in Nairobi on Saturday parallel to one by Jubilee in Nakuru.
While Cord’s rally is to push for justice for 2007/2008 post-election violence victims and electoral reforms, Jubilee’s will be a celebration of freedom.
While the opposition will be in Laini Saba, Kibra, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, Mr William Ruto, will be at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru — the town that hosted the majority of people who fled violence in parts of the Rift Valley.
The parallel rallies have been prompted by the International Criminal Court’s momentous decision to terminate charges against Deputy President William Ruto and his co-accused, Mr Joshua arap Sang.
The Afraha rally will be attended by all the people who became known as the “Ocampo Six”, five of whom now hold key public offices.
Other than the President and his deputy, the others expected at the rally are former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali, former Cabinet minister Henry Kosgey, former Head of the Public Service Francis Muthaura and Mr Sang.
At Kibra, it will be Mr Odinga, and his Cord co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula leading their teams into a campaign, which will also be used to show unity as signs of internal cracks in the opposition outfit have begun to show.
Yesterday, Cord’s management committee co-chairmen, Senators James Orengo (Siaya), Johnstone Muthama (Machakos) and Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu announced that plans for the Kibra rally were complete.
“We wish to extend an invitation to all Kenyans to this weekend’s rally in Nairobi at Laini Saba Grounds on Saturday,” Dr Simiyu said.
Flanked by his co-chairmen, the Ford-Kenya secretary general read a statement from the coalition. It said: “The rally will mark the start of our push for two issues that we believe are critical to the future stability of Kenya. We need justice for the victims of the 2007-2008 election violence. We also need thorough reforms to our electoral infrastructure.”
The opposition leaders insisted that the perennial cycle of violence every election year could only be addressed if issues that cause electoral fraud were dealt with in time and in a manner acceptable to all the players.
The theme of the rally appeared to be resonating with a statement attributed to Mr Odinga following an interview with AFP, in which he said the ICC’s failure to try the Kenyan cases spelt doom for global efforts to fight impunity.
The statement by the three law makers further said campaigns for reconciliation between communities would remain a hoax if issues to do with delivery of elections were not managed.
“Kenya has been holding reconciliations after every election. Such exercises end up being nothing when elections come. We want an end to that cycle and we shall begin the push properly this weekend,” the joint statement read.
The three insisted that theirs was a united opposition and that Ford-Kenya, ODM and Wiper recognise the value of unity. “We beg those praying for fallout to hold their horses and give God a break. Kenyans have more pressing things to ask from God,” Cord said.
Mr Orengo added: “We are managing ourselves well. Everything is under control. What we are calling for is caution from our members, especially in regard to the statements they make out there.”
And Mr Muthama played down the tension in the coalition, blaming the media and moles.
On the Nakuru rally, nominated MP Johnstone Sakaja said it would be a thanksgiving event for answered prayers.
“This is the point at which the Jubilee coalition was started. We are going back to Nakuru to say thank you to God for helping us to victory in the cases that faced the President and his deputy.” Mr Sakaja added that the event would also mark the beginning of the rallying of support for the Jubilee Party, whose initiation is underway.

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