Raila: We will not accept and move on until we reclaim our victory

Raila Odinga

Azimio leader Raila Odinga delivers his speech at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Foundation, Nairobi on March 09,2023.

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has declared that his coalition will not move on from the August poll loss until they claim their “stolen victory”.

Mr Odinga said the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition will pull all the stops to end the ‘curse of electoral theft and predetermined outcome’ in the country.

He was speaking when he took his anti-government rallies to his Kisumu bastion.

Mr Odinga said they will not be dissuaded by the Supreme Court verdict that declared President William Ruto as validly elected in the August 9, 2022 contest. This even as he claimed an attempt by President William Ruto to claw back democratic gains made by the country through major reform struggles.

“We must free this country from electoral theft and the curse of elections whose results are predetermined. We must ring-fence multiparty democracy and ensure it is irreversible. We end the fear of illegitimate authority,” the coalition said in a resolution read by National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi.

Mr Odinga insisted that the fight for electoral justice is not just for his own sake but for future generations.

The ODM leader who led his coalition partners in the rally reiterated that history will judge them harshly if they fail to talk against electoral theft that has bedevilled the country over the past.

“You can open the doors of jail wide open if you have the space for all of us. We cannot be scared by people who have not even been to police cell themselves,” said Mr Odinga.

“In some future date not very far from today, the supreme court of history will sit in judgment, on behalf of our children and grandchildren.

“That court will ask each one of us; why did you not stand up when things were being turned upside down in your own country to subjugate your own people?” Mr Odinga posed during the rally at Moi Stadium in Kisumu.

The Azimio leaders in their resolution accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the Supreme Court and Parliament of being bribed and intimidated by the Kenya Kwanza administration to act in their favour.

In the resolutions read by Mr Wandayi, at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel, the opposition leaders said that they must stand on the right side in the court of history.

“The court of history will ask us; “what happened to your courage? Why did you not resist when criminals were taking charge of your country? Why did you not speak out for your people when they could not afford food, school fees, medicine and electricity?” the statement reads in part.

Mr Odinga, who maintained that he won by over 2.2 million against Dr Ruto, said he will soon give his supporters direction on the next cause of action.

“As Raila Odinga and other leaders of Azimio, we don’t recognise Ruto as the President of the Republic of Kenya. We will soon blow the whistle,” he said.

Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua while terming the Kenya Kwanza government as “illegitimate” reiterated that they have plans of taking back people’s power in a peaceful manner.

“This is not about Raila but you. We are going to return the voice of the people,” she said.

Ms Karua noted that the constitution gives people the power to issue orders to the Court, Parliament and even the President.

“The Supreme Court failed to listen to us. We are now before the court of public opinion,” she said.

She noted as unfortunate that the cost of living has soared beyond the reach of the majority of Kenyans.

“We must say in one voice that enough is enough. We must evict an illegitimate government,” added Ms Karua.

“We are firmly in the second liberation war that gave us multiparty, restored our rights and freedoms, and a new constitution,” the leaders said in their resolution.

The leaders further cautioned that they will not allow President Ruto to single-handedly appoint IEBC commissioners as they faulted the formula and process being proposed by the Kenya Kwanza regime.

As a big brother in the region, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka said Kenya has a responsibility to correct the electoral theft and put the country in the right direction.

“This happened to Mr Odinga in 2007, 2013, 2017 and now 2022. We have to stand up for our rights. Say no to electoral theft and bad governance,” he said.

Democratic Alliance Party of Kenya leader Eugene Wamalwa on his side accused the “rebels” who went to State House of betraying not just Mr Odinga but the people who elected them into office.

ODM Deputy Party leader Wycliffe Oparanya while terming them “self-seekers “called on the electorates to reject them and only elect loyal members.

The meeting that was attended by various leaders from Mr Odinga’s backyard of four counties of Migori, Homa Bay, Kisumu and Siaya counties was however skipped by the “rebels” including Senator Tom Ojienda and MPs Gideon Ochanda, Caroli Omondi, Elisha Odhiambo, Paul Abuor, Mark Nyamita, Walter Owino, Phelix Odiwuor and Kisumu East MP Shakeel Shabir who was elected as an independent candidate.

Among others, the meeting was attended by Roots party leader George Wajackoyah, Jubilee SG Jeremiah Kioni, Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina, ODM SG Edwin Sifuna and all the governors from the four counties.