Mr Odinga should stand with the people against terrorists



By now, the people of Kenya have lost all hope and expectation of a loyal, patriotic Opposition from ODM. It is now time to face the facts: CORD is an expression of ODM, which together with the civil society, are appendages of RailaOdinga. All the noises about ‘constituent parties’ and ‘coalition’ are the politest nonsense. Extracting maximum political advantage out of crises, tragedies and disasters is ODM’s cardinal governing value.

As a result, ODM seems to resurrect suddenly upon news of carnage, conflict, difficulty and suffering in this country. ODM’s most exuberant political performances are restricted to funerals. Nowhere in the civilized world does a legitimate entity exist which slumbers at boon times, yearning desperately for the worst news, and exulting with abandon when it strikes.

ODM knows that the people of Kenya benefit when its government is effective. ODM cannot countenance government observing and fulfilling its constitutional mandate to manage the affairs of this nation. It therefore wants the people to die and suffer needlessly as a way of getting at government. It is totally devoted to undermining government even if that results in insecurity, instability and pain for the people.

This is why Raila Odinga has no qualms standing before the world to canvass the most irresponsible, mendacious and dangerous allegations in opposing the Security Laws (Amendment) Bill.

He claims that the right to assemble, demonstrate, picket and present petitions has been taken away. In fact, the Bill proposes to make these rights easier and more convenient to exercise in accordance with advanced democratic practice. Government wants Kenyans to be safe when exercising their rights, and not to inconvenience others who also have rights through obstruction, nuisance or rioting. Besides, government wants to ensure that terrorists do not take advantage of lawful gatherings and murder or maim innocent demonstrators.

By law, people have always been responsible for the actions of others. That is why offences like failure to prevent the commission of a felony exist. That is why accessories and accomplices have legal liability. People in positions of authority obviously have responsibility for the actions of those who work for, or with them. We understand Mr. Odinga’s difficulties. But we want to assure him that Men In Black as well as ‘No Raila, No Peace’ are matters best left to his conscience. In any event, his responsibility for his followers’ and servants’ (mis)conduct has nothing to do with the Bill.

We want Mr Odinga to understand that all rights are necessarily curtailed by the public interest and others’ rights as well. An accused person’s right to see the evidence held by the Prosecution cannot take away victims and witnesses’ safety. Court proceedings for disclosure can be used by terrorists to advise their accomplices at the expense of Kenyans. We remind Mr Odinga that the ICC, which he has cited most irrelevantly, actually redacts extensive portions of evidence. His protestation on this account is therefore disingenuous.

At no point has the Bill qualified the rights against self-discrimination. Streamlining of rules of evidence and trial procedure is meant to aid the attainment of justice and advances the interests of all parties.

At this point, we observe that Mr Odinga’s advisors have utterly abandoned him to grapple with simple terms which have confused him. In the spirit of Christmas, the PSCU has resolved to donate 3 English dictionaries to Mr Odinga, ODM and CORD respectively. ‘Gory’, ‘obscene’ and ‘offensive’ are not new words. They have always been part of English vocabulary and they speak to community standards of what is dignified, decent and acceptable. We have faith that come the New Year, the Opposition will be able to engage in coherent and relevant discourse on matters of national interest.

Mr Odinga served for long stints in government. It is tragic that his appreciation of the country’s most critical needs remains nascent. Small arms proliferation is a serious problem that endangers Kenyan lives and property every day. This proliferation stems from regional insecurity and has substantial cross-border dimensions. Solutions therefore must incorporate institutional collaborations and capacities beyond policing. The military is a professional institution charged with keeping our territory safe from internal and external threats.

For Mr Odinga to suggest that we hamstring our security services merely to gratify his dubious ideals is saddening. His enjoyment of round-the-clock VIP protection has insulated him from Kenya’s security reality. His ivory tower, simplistic, arm-chair approach to national security is disappointing.

Information on tenants and occupancy of various establishments is basic security commonsense. It is a logical extension of Nyumba Kumi and community policing approaches. Westgate, Lamu and Mandera involved painstaking mobilization and resourcing by people who passed as residents or tenants of communities and establishments. Mr Odinga wants terrorists to be housed without question, so that they can assemble their explosives and plan their outrages without any disruption. The Government is proposing basic vigilance for the security of Kenyans.

Mr Odinga is only reprising his hackneyed routine of scaremongering and lamentation. He is opposed to KDF’s presence in Somalia. He is opposed to Nyumba Kumi. He is opposed to the repatriation of illegal and even dangerous immigrants. He is opposed to security operations to restore peace and order in troubled parts of the country. It is no surprise that he would be viscerally opposed to any effort to make this country safe. A number of NGOs, which funnel hundreds of millions of shillings annually, have been found to be active facilitators of terrorism. That is why any initiative to make life difficult for terrorists makes the Opposition and civil society uncomfortable.

His statement is the sort of desperate submission defence lawyers resort to on behalf of terrorists. As a matter of fact, Mr Odinga’s and ODM’s interventions are consistently aligned to the most audible narratives of Al Shabaab and other violent extremists. In him, they have finally found an able and willing spokesman.

Kenya is at war. Innocent Kenyans are targeted by terrorists. Kenyans have a right to security. The government is determined to observe every Kenyan’s right to security. The Opposition is opposed to anything that suggests or promises a safer Kenya for all people.

The government will not be deterred in its commitment to protect Kenyans from terrorism, banditry and crime.

It is one thing to shout freedom, like Raila and his cohort in the civil society. The difficult part, requiring resolve, stamina and courage, is protecting freedom. Our constitutional order is threatened by terrorists and their collaborators, many of whom speak the language of civil rights fluently and vehemently. The Jubilee Alliance is protecting our freedom form terrorists, bandits, gangsters and criminals.

We know this is futile, but we will never stop trying: We ask Mr Odinga and the Opposition to try, at least once, standing with the people of Kenya, and speaking for them. The terrorists can afford representation. They probably don’t need your services. But the people do.


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