, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 16 – Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leaders on Wednesday claimed they had reliably learnt that police were planning to arrest them to face treason charges.
Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka told a news conference they were in possession of documentary evidence to back their claims.
He said they had a letter dated June 24 by Chief of Staff and Head of Service Joseph reminding Solicitor-General Njee Muturi and Attorney-General Githu Muigai to implement resolutions of a National Security Advisory Committee meeting held June 23 and arrest some of the leaders on treason charges.
“The letter demonstrates the desire and scheme of the Jubilee administration to use the law of treason to achieve political objectives, unrelated and extraneous to the principles and jurisprudence of Kenya’s criminal justice system,” Musyoka said.
“This letter is the clearest indication that the Jubilee administration wants to arrest and detain the leaders of CORD on charges that have no basis in our Constitution and the law in order to emasculate the Opposition,” he told reporters at the coalition’s headquarters in Nairobi.
Musyoka who was in the company of CORD leaders Raila Odinga and Moses Wetangula said they would move on with their plans and that they will not be intimidated in any way.
“No amount of intimidation or harassment will compromise CORD’s relentless struggle to enable the people of Kenya reap the fruits of the new Constitution,” he stated.
CORD accused the government of seeking to re-introduce sedition laws to intimidate the Opposition.
The former VP added: “In 1997 the law of sedition was repealed from our Penal Code under Act No. 10 of 1997 because of the trend in those years of dragging Kenyans into criminal courts under that law. The law of detention without trial has also been replaced.”
According to CORD, the arrest of Lamu County Governor Issa Timamy for alleged terror activities is evidence that the government also wants to detain them.
“The Governor of Lamu County was recently arrested and detained without charges on the pretext that he would be arraigned on offenses under International Crimes Act. No such charges have been preferred to date,” Musyoka said. “This was a case of politics and the Governor should be left alone so that he can continue with his work in Lamu.”
Odinga on his part announced that they will release their referendum plans next week.
“There is no hitch; this is a very involving process because before we even announce the names (of committee members spearheading the process), we need to announce the structure. There will be those who are going to be advisors, the politicians will have their role, there will be a committee of experts, there is going to be the National Referendum Committee,” said the former premier.
CORD is preparing to collect one million signatures, among other logistical plans, needed to push for the referendum which they say is the only way to solve problems facing the country.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto have dismissed the referendum calls and instead urged the CORD leaders to engage Kenyans in constructive ways to facilitate development.