Raila: We will hold mega rallies in major towns to defend Cherera four

Raila in Kisumu

Azimio leader Raila Odinga addressing the media in Kisumu where he announced plans to hold rallies to solicit support for the four besieged IEBC commissioners. 

Photo credit: Rushdie Oudia | Nation Media Group

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party leader Mr Raila Odinga has announced plans to hold a series of rallies in his political bases to solicit support for the four besieged electoral agency commissioners facing ouster.

The rallies, christened ‘consultative meetings’ with his supporters, will commence in Nairobi next week as Mr Odinga with his team seeks the public’s say in the push by President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza to send the four commissioners home.

The four Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials are Vice-chairperson Juliana Cherera and commissioners Justus Nyang’aya, Irene Masit and Francis Wanderi.

The commissioners rejected the 2022 Presidential election results declared by IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati, terming the tail-end verification and tallying process ‘opaque’.

Mr Odinga said the meetings will start in Kamukunji, Nairobi on Wednesday next week then afterwards move to Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu and Kakamega.

“We are going to consult widely with all Kenyans starting with the people of Nairobi at the Kamukunji Grounds to ask them if they accept that these IEBC commissioners go home. After that we will reveal a way forward,” said Mr Odinga.

He claimed the current regime came to power through rigged elections and are now trying to send away commissioners who stood firm on the platform of the truth.

“An independent electoral commission is the referee; it cannot be appointed by a player. Kenya Kwanza lost the elections badly and we cannot accept that they add salt to injury by sending away these commissioners and imposing on Kenyans a user-friendly commission to them,” said the Azimio leader.

Mr Odinga also hinted at revealing a lot that Kenyans don’t know transpired during the elections.

“I have not revealed a lot yet, I will be speaking more in future, but the first step is blocking these people from sending the commissioners home,” said Mr Odinga.

Last week, MPs allied to Mr Odinga stormed out of County Hall where the hearing of the four petitions seeking the removal of the four commissioners was taking place.

The leaders termed the hearings by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee an already predetermined process.

The four petitions have been separately filed by the Republican Party, Rev Dennis Ndwiga Nthumbi, Mr Geoffrey Lang’at and Mr Steve Jerry Owuor.

Raila in Kisumu

Mr Odinga had come over the weekend to see relatives in Bondo but decided to pass by Kisumu before travelling back to Nairobi.

He stated that the information he has is that the cost of living is high, there is unemployment and prices of basic commodities, fuel and energy are high.

He says Kenyans are suffering because the current government has gone against the promises they made to Kenyans.

“Some of the measures that had been introduced such as Kazi Mtaani that helped put food on the table of many, have been discontinued. The current government has reneged on the promises they made to Kenyans,” said Mr Odinga.

The proclamation by Mr Odinga comes a day after he met 26 Azimio governors and their deputies in a strategy meeting in Naivasha for two-days, the first one after the August 9th Election.

He is keen on having the county bosses from mostly his bases play a major role in the coming consultative meetings.

The meeting was also attended by Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, who was Mr Odinga’s running mate in the presidential elections.

The meeting was to seal some emerging cracks within the coalition amidst onslaught by President Ruto as well as some county bosses warming up to the Kenya Kwanza government ‘for the sake of development’.

But Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyongó who was chosen to read the resolutions of the meeting to the press that day has come out strongly to deny any form of division or rebellion by the governors under the Azimio banner.

In a statement to the media on Sunday, Prof Nyong’o termed the meeting a very successful bonding session.

“This was a very successful bonding session between the governors and our leaders with everybody speaking frankly and honestly regarding the situation in our nation today and the role of the Azimio movement. I was at the meeting and never witnessed or heard of any rebellion as reported in the Sunday Nation,” said the Kisumu County Boss.

He claimed the reports are a complete misrepresentation of facts and was more of hearsay