Shakahola massacre: I will sue Ruto over taskforce, says Raila

Azimio Leader Raila Odinga and Malindi MP Amina Mnyazi when they arrived at the Shakahola Command Centre in Kilifi County. 

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi | Nation Media Group

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has faulted President William Ruto’s move to form a commission of inquiry to probe the Shakahola massacre as well as a taskforce to recommend legal and regulatory changes on religion, saying the Head of State had no such powers.

Mr Odinga also condemned the State for blocking him from accessing the site of mass graves.

Speaking during a funeral at Mwarakaya Primary School in Kilifi County yesterday, Mr Odinga said it is unconstitutional for a President to appoint a taskforce.

“It is the work of Parliament to initiate the process of appointing taskforces. Thus, the President contravened the Constitution and I am going to court to stop him,” he said. “He has further gone ahead to appoint his friends in the taskforce to doctor the Shakahola report in his favour.”

Mr Odinga said Kenyans want to know the truth.

“We want to know those who were involved. This is a security lapse. Where were the security agencies? Shakahola was an annex of the State House, and we don’t trust the State in probing this matter because the controversial pastor is known by powerful politicians in government,” he said.

Police on Friday denied the Azimio leader and three MPs entry into the site of mass graves, saying it is a security operation zone.

Mr Odinga told the government to come clean on the operation after journalists were also blocked from accessing the site. “The controversial pastors conducting cultic activities have been hobnobbing with senior political leaders in the government,” he said.

During the campaigns for last year’s General Election, Mr Odinga called for streamlining of religious institutions.

“I was called ugly names including witchdoctor and whatever else. I was told I worship the devil,” he said. “But I have been vindicated.”

He lauded Kilifi residents for standing by Azimio, urging politicians who want to work with the State to resign and seek re-election. Kilifi Governor Gideon Mung’aro swore to stick to Azimio.

“I am not like those who are being seduced by the State,” he said.