M4M launch set for Wednesday

August 13, 2013 4:05 pm
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An invite sent to media houses lists former Prime Minister Raila Odinga's aide Eliud Owallo and civil society activist Okoiti Omtatah as the group's co-conveners/FILE
An invite sent to media houses lists former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s aide Eliud Owallo and civil society activist Okoiti Omtatah as the group’s co-conveners/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 13 – The March 4th Movement (M4M), a political lobby group accused of plotting to destabilize the government is expected to be formally launched in Nairobi on Wednesday.

An invite sent to media houses lists former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s aide Eliud Owallo and civil society activist Okoiti Omtatah as the group’s co-conveners.

The invite sent on Tuesday says details pertaining to the movement’s mandate as well as its goals and objectives will be released at the launch where other members of the M4M National Steering Committee will also be paraded.

“The M4M is a progressive and an above the board campaign aimed at amending Article 138 of the Constitution of Kenya so as to move the country from the so-called ‘tyranny of numbers’ to the safety of numbers,” says the invite in part.

“M4M has no concerns about or relations to any current political formations. Further, we have absolutely no plans to disrupt anything or to hold Egypt-style demos, and we have received no funding from any quarters.”

According to media reports the government got alarmed at the activities of the March 4th Movement after it learnt its leaders were planning to collect 5.4 million signatures to amend the Constitution to introduce new hurdles that could stop President Uhuru Kenyatta from serving a second term in office.

The group wants to amend Article 138 of the Constitution to change the country’s voting system where counties determine the presidency and entrench devolution ‘where no-one cannot mess it up’

They argue that the current presidential election format alienates small tribes and favours big tribes.

Four lawyers have been contracted by M4M in drafting the Bill which if presented before the House must be put to a referendum within a period of six months after approval of the National Assembly.

Owallo, who headed Odinga’s campaign team in the March 4 elections, has been questioned three times over the activities of the group.

He has previously denied any link with the group and had accused the government of using it as an excuse to intimidate Odinga and other CORD leaders.

Omtatah complicated investigations into the M4M after he dared the police to arrest him.

He said M4M is an initiative of Kenyans for Justice and Development Trust and that Owallo was not one of the members.

Omtatah claims M4M enjoys the backing from a cross section of leaders including Senators and MPs from both Jubilee Coalition and CORD.

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