NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31 – The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) has demanded that President Uhuru Kenyatta holds a national dialogue conference with the Opposition on July 7 or face consequences.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga said the spiralling insecurity, cost of living and corruption made it clear that President Kenyatta’s government could not be left to its own devices.
“I’ve received your calls, texts and tweets telling me; baba while you were away we were dying of hunger, insecurity worsened, Muslims were victimised, the Anglo-Leasing robbers asked for more money. But I am back and we have the medicine. We have the medicine to heal what ails Kenya,” he said.
Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka said President Kenyatta risked losing his mandate should he fail to convene the talks.
“If they refuse they will go home. We are talking about an all inclusive government. The developed nations of the world pay heed to democracy, equality and not corruption,” he said.
Both he and Odinga went on to renew their demands for the disbandment of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission citing it as the cause of all that was going wrong in the country.
“I never really want to talk about the IEBC. There is no way there can be free and fair election conducted by the IEBC as currently constituted which can meet the constitutional test – impartial, neutral, efficient, accurate and accountable,” Odinga said.
But as Odinga, Kalonzo and Wetangula accused the Jubilee Government of failing where insecurity was concerned, their own ‘Men in Black’ security team was no match for the tens of thousands who thronged the Uhuru Park grounds to receive Odinga on his return from a three month lecturing tour in the United States.
The minute the Master of Ceremonies announced that Odinga was on the grounds, having driven straight there from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), they broke through the barrier that led up to the stage.
The stage itself was also crowded by Members of Parliament, the press and the Men in Black themselves as they tried to shield Odinga from the mass of people pressing in.
All the while members of the Kenya Police Service surrounded the perimeter of the park and apart from searching those going in, they simply stood guard not daring to interfere in the commotion that surrounded Odinga’s arrival.
The tumult that followed Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero’s attempt to address the crowd was of a different nature all together as those gathered changed their, “Uhuru must go!” chant to, “Kidero must go!”
The crowd maintained its hostility towards Kidero despite pleas from both Kalonzo and former Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim.
This was a major blow given his party leader, Odinga, was present and his fight for political survival as he has a pending petition in court against his election as Governor of Nairobi.