Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party leader Raila Odinga yesterday claimed that four Venezuelans, including an individual, identified as Jose Camargo and who was widely mentioned at the Supreme Court hearings of the 2022 presidential election petition, are in the country in a bid to tamper with the poll servers.
Addressing a rally at the historic Kamukunji grounds in Nairobi, Mr Odinga said they have tracked the individuals to Maasai Mara Lodge where, he said, they are currently residing as they continue with their “illegal operations.”
Mr Odinga claimed the individuals have met Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Chairman Ezra Chiloba and former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati.
“We have information that the mercenaries who accessed the servers during the elections, one of them Jose Camargo, are in the country. They were living at a hotel in Kileleshwa but left after realising we were aware of their mission and moved to another hotel in Karen and are now at the Maasai Mara Lodge,” he said.
Mr Odinga had earlier attended a church service at St Stephen’s ACK church on Jogoo Road in Nairobi alongside other coalition leaders. The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader said Azimio will resume anti-government protests next week should President William Ruto fail to heed their demands.
“If we don’t hear from Ruto next week, we shall resume mass protests immediately after Ramadhan,” Mr Odinga announced.
He said his team was ready to engage President Ruto’s team of negotiators so long as their terms of engagement include lowering the high cost of living, the opening of the election servers for audit, reconstitution of IEBC including devolving its structures, respect for multi-party democracy and subsequent withdrawal of Eldas MP Adan Keynan from the government’s team for the talks.
The government side had unveiled Mr Keynan, a member of Jubilee Party, alongside Kakamega Senator Dr Boni Khalwale, Tharaka MP George Murugara, nominated Senator Essy Okenyuri, Kibwezi West MP Mwengi Mutuse, Taita Taveta Woman Rep Lydia Haika and Bomet Senator Hillary Sigei as its team of negotiators. Mr Odinga’s side has Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo, ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna, Senators Enoch Wambua (Kitui) and Ledama Ole Kina (Narok), and MPs David P'Kosing (Pokot South), Millie Odhiambo (Suba North) and Amina Mnyanzi (Malindi).
Yesterday, Mr Odinga insisted that Mr Keynan cannot be part of the delegation representing Kenya Kwanza since he was elected on a Jubilee Party ticket and, therefore, legally remains a member of the Azimio coalition.
Mr Odinga said Azimio was committed to the talks but will continue with peaceful protests which he noted is guaranteed in the Constitution under Article 37.
The Azimio chief also revealed that, apart from Inspector-General of Police Japhet Koome, his team will forward evidence to the International Criminal Court linking a senior government official to alleged brutality meted out on peaceful demonstrators by the police, including an attempt on his life during which his car was shot at 11 times.
Mr Odinga was accompanied by his running mate in last year’s election, Ms Martha Karua, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, former Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, Mr Sifuna, former Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria and his Laikipia counterpart Ndiritu Muriithi, Nairobi ODM Chairman George Aladwa and a host of other leaders.
Ms Karua said they were ready for the second wave of peaceful protests.
“We shall not relent until we get our rights. We must ensure all Kenyans have food on the table. The price of unga must come down to Sh100 and school fees must also reduce so that all children can learn,” she said.
The Narc Kenya party leader faulted the government for its failure to provide education loans to university students and pay civil servants on time.
She challenged President Ruto to allow access to poll servers and continue to govern if at all the results show that he won the election, or surrender his seat to Mr Odinga “who we have all records indicating he has the people’s mandate.”
Mr Musyoka said all Azimio leaders, including former President Uhuru Kenyatta who is the chairman of its council, back Mr Odinga’s calls for mass action.
He told police to stand for justice and the rule of law as Kenyans resort to street protests to fight for their rights.
Mr Wamalwa warned Mr Koome against issuing illegal orders to his officers. He criticised the government for failing to pay civil servants “for the first time since independence”.
“We shall never forget that the price of salt rose during the Ruto regime,” said Mr Wamalwa, while calling on civil servants to join Opposition protests should the government continue to withhold their salaries.
“We also invite governors to join us if the counties shall not have received their funds,” he said.