By Silas Apollo
Leaders allied to the Azimio la Umoja coalition convened in Athi River for the coalition's Parliamentary Group meeting, where their leader, Raila Odinga, dedicated a good portion of his speech to castigating the Judiciary for the second day in a row.
The meeting, held at the Stoni Athi Resort, was chaired by Azimio leaders including Mr Odinga, Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua. Also present were Azimio Secretary-General Junet Mohammed, ODM Chairman John Mbadi, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna, former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, and other leaders.
He termed the recent swearing-in of judges by President William Ruto as an attempt of the Executive to capture the Judiciary.
"There is a push by the Executive to own the Judiciary through illegal actions that amount to bribery and that is why there was a rushed decision to swear in judges and allocate funds to the Judiciary. It is a plain attempt to capture the Judiciary,” Mr Odinga alleged Friday.
He said that the role of Parliament will be to carry out three tasks: saving the Judiciary from state capture, transforming the IEBC, and stopping the Executive from offering itself to conduct state capture.
"Parliament must stand up and preserve our multi-party politics. When the law does not rule, thuggery does. We have a responsibility as Azimio to take charge and use our majority in Parliament to keep this government in check.” Mr Odinga remarked.
He also reiterated claims made the day before in Mombasa, while expressing strong dissatisfaction with the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the August 9 presidential poll outcome. Mr Odinga, in a clear hardening of his position, had accused the Judiciary of participating in a scheme to destroy the country’s democracy.
Mr Odinga also claimed that they have evidence that indicates Azimio candidates were also rigged out at lower levels.
"At the lower levels, I believe that a number of our people were rigged out to pave way for UDA candidates,” said the Azimio leader.
Ms Karua announced that key to the meeting’s agenda was deliberating on names to be nominated for the Leader of Majority and Majority Whip in the National Assembly and their Senate counterparts.
"We are the majority party and therefore require to have the majority leader and the majority whip,” she said.
Mr Odinga said that the meeting aimed to consolidate the Azimio team to push their interest in both Houses.
"This meeting was decided by the leadership to bring our members together so they can bond and serve our interest as a movement in Parliament. If you do not bond and become united, you are going to be ruled the entire of this Parliament” he said.
The Kenya Kwanza team held a parallel Parliamentary Group meeting in Naivasha to deliberate on sharing the House Minority seats within the coalition.